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Couper, Richard Watrous

 Person

Biographical information

Trustee, Hamilton College; Former Provost, Hamilton College; Class of 1944, Hamilton College; President, New York Public Library; President, Watson Foundation. Richard Watrous Couper, born 16 December 1922 in Binghamton, N.Y. Originally enrolled with Hamilton College class of 1944, Couper enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 where he attained the rank of captain during World War II. After finishing his degree at Hamilton in 1947, he earned a master's degree in American History from Harvard University. Along with continuous service as a Hamilton College trustee since 1959, Couper served as administrative vice president of Hamilton College beginning in 1962 and was promoted to acting president and then vice president and provost. Couper later served as the first deputy commissioner for higher education for the New York State Education Department (1969-71), became the first full-time president and chief executive officer of the New York Public Library (1971-81), and served as president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation until 1990. Died January 26, 2006.