Alum of the Issue: Henry B. Sawyer Jr. ’32

This past September, the Belmont Hill Alumni House hosted the 30th annual Henry B. Sawyer Jr. ‘32 Golf Tournament, which raised over $286,720. All of the proceeds from the tournament will be directed towards Belmont Hill’s financial aid capacity, either through the operating budget or the endowment to establish Henry B. Sawyer Jr. ‘32 Tournament Scholarships. These scholarships allow five Henry B. Sawyer ‘32 Scholars to attend Belmont Hill. Although all Belmont Hill students have heard of the tournament, and many know for what purpose it is held, not many know of Henry B. Sawyer, the man in honor of whom the tournament was established. 

Mr. Sawyer graduated from Belmont Hill in 1932, only the school’s sixth graduating class, and was a dedicated faculty member from 1936 until 1992. From Belmont Hill, he attended Harvard College and went on to serve for five years under General George S. Patton in World War II. After arriving back home from war, Mr. Sawyer rejoined the school community, where he would teach Latin and English and coach football, baseball, and hockey. Mr. Sawyer eventually came to serve as the Corporator of the School and then Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. 

According to all who knew him, Mr. Sawyer epitomized the best aspects of Belmont Hill: athletic and academic excellence, camaraderie, and compassion. “Mr. Belmont Hill”, a “man of honor”, and the definition of a “school man” are just some of the ways in which he is described. To honor his legacy, members of the community, most of whom are Belmont Hill alumni, gather annually at Concord Country Club in Concord, Massachusetts to celebrate his legacy and raise money to make possible Mr. Sawyer’s hope that those who could not afford it could attend Belmont Hill School. 

This year’s tournament was especially successful, as the school was able to raise enough money to fully establish its fifth Henry B. Sawyer ‘32 scholarship, meaning one more scholar will be able to attend the school at no cost. This tournament is only one of the ways Mr. Sawyer’s love for his school remains apparent in the community at large. Anyone can still see Mr. Sawyer’s panel on the left side of the side entrance to the Chapel, and the Henry B. Sawyer bench sits next to the Chapel overlooking the athletic fields. Moreover, the Belmont Hill community owes much of its culture of togetherness and working together to Mr. Sawyer. His exemplary service to the school community and the impact he has had on those within it is why The Panel has chosen him to be the Alumnus of the Issue. 

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