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Ernie '42 and Connie Richmond

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Where There's a Will, There's a Way
Winter 2008

Ernie Richmond loved hockey.

“As far as I know, Ernie never even stepped onto the ice, but Ernie loved hockey.” So said Connie Richmond during a recent interview. “He loved to watch and he loved the excitement, but most of all I think he loved what hockey did for Clarkson. The game brings people together and creates school spirit; it celebrates accomplishment and teaches valuable life lessons. Ernie was a goodwill ambassador, and he used hockey to spread the good word about Clarkson.”

Originally from Catskill, NY, Ernie Richmond earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1942 and joined the Mack Truck Research Lab, conducting research into sealing engines against sand for the war effort in North Africa. In 1945 he moved to the Worthington Corporation where he was responsible for the design of the welding system to build the first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus. Ernie later joined Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company, where he garnered two electropolishing patents in the early 1970s.

Ernie and Connie were introduced by Connie’s brother at a church gathering in the early 1940s. It was love at first sight, and they were married in 1943. Connie is a graduate of Rowan University (formerly Glassboro State Teachers College) and taught elementary school and special education. An inseparable team, they made many trips to Potsdam for reunions and, of course, hockey. They were loyal Clarkson Fund donors each year, but they wanted to do more to celebrate the role athletics plays at the University, so they also made special gifts to establish and support the Clarkson Athletic Hall of Fame.

After his passing in May 2007, Clarkson received two bequests from Ernie’s estate. The first bequest established a scholarship endowment for incoming students. It was a way for Ernie to recognize the support he received as a student and also provide the Clarkson experience for future generations. With Ernie’s interest in many sports, particularly golf and Clarkson Golden Knights hockey, the second bequest created the Ernest ’42 and Constance Richmond Endowed Athletic Hall of Fame Fund. This fund will help ensure recognition of the outstanding athletic achievements of Clarkson students into the future.

“Ernie believed in the power of education to change the world, and the ability of Clarkson to provide that education,” says Connie. “He wanted to excel as a player on the Clarkson team, and his bequests are a capstone to a lifetime of promoting Clarkson and making it available to promising students.” In July 2007 the University recognized Ernie Richmond’s outstanding achievements when he was inducted into the Clarkson Athletic Hall of Fame.

Footnote: Ernie Richmond passed away in 2007. Connie Richmond passed away in 2010. This article is published in thanks and admiration to a loyal Clarkson alumnus and a dear Clarkson friend.