Springfield College Mourns Art LinkletterMay 27, 2010
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 27, 2010 – Art Linkletter, H ‘60, internationally known humorist and Springfield College trustee emeritus, supporter, and benefactor, passed away in Los Angeles on May 26.
Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn responded to the news saying, “Springfield College mourns the passing of a great friend, Art Linkletter. Early in his life, Art developed high respect for the work and values of the YMCA, and for Springfield College as an educator of YMCA leaders.
“Art was guided in his life by the philosophy that links the YMCA and Springfield College – development of the spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others. In his character and accomplishments, he personified those values.
“He was a supporter of Springfield College philosophically and materially, and a great friend and mentor to me. I will miss his nice notes, his humor, and his advice. He leaves an admirable legacy, and he will always be remembered at Springfield College.”
Linkletter was chair of the College’s capital campaign in the 1960s, and made the lead gift toward the construction of the natatorium, which the College named in his honor. Linkletter Foyer in Fuller Arts Center is also named for him. More recently, he was honorary chair of the College’s campaign that concluded in 2008.
In 1960, the College awarded Linkletter an honorary doctoral degree. He served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1961 to 1985, and was then named a trustee emeritus. He was the commencement speaker in 1967, 1974 and 1985, and returned to the College several times to participate in College work days, building dedications, and other events. One such event was “Art for Art’s’ Sake,” when he presided over a campus celebration of the performing arts, and the City of Springfield proclaimed Nov. 21 and 22, 1992 Art Linkletter Weekend.
Linkletter was the host of two of the longest running shows in broadcast history: “House Party,” which ran on CBS TV and Radio for 25 years, and “People Are Funny,” which ran on NBC TV and Radio for 19 years. He was best known for daily television interviews with schoolchildren, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” which is also the title of one of his books that sold in the millions.
A dedicated humanitarian, Linkletter was recognized for his work for the National Easter Seals Foundation, the National Heart Foundation, the Foster Parents Plan and Goodwill Industries.
The Springfield College flag will fly at half staff in his memory from May 27 through 31, 2010.