Looking back over the past four decades, it may be difficult to find an undergraduate student whose William and Mary experience wasn’t influenced by Clyde Haulman.
As a much-appreciated economics professor, successful advocate of curriculum reform, notable author, and community leader, there’s no question that Haulman has created an indelible legacy at the College.
“His fingerprints are all over this College,” it was noted when he received the College's Thomas Jefferson Award in 2002. “He has been the catalyst for change, our voice of conscience, our best friend and mentor at every turn.”
Most colleagues would describe Professor Haulman as a quiet force with an unwavering commitment to the College’s academic and administrative success. In the early 1990s while serving as Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Haulman led the College through an ambitious curriculum reform which many hailed as a “minor administrative miracle.”
“Every plan for change meets some resistance’” says Associate Professor Barbara Watkinson who worked with Haulman on curriculum reform. “In the case of the 1990-1993 undergraduate curriculum overhaul, the relatively few faculty members and students who objected to the proposal were very vocal and tenacious. Nevertheless, through two years of multiple weekly meetings, Clyde was the voice of calm—sometimes the only one—in public forums.”
Haulman also stepped in as chair of the Department of Music, Assistant to the President, director of the Marshall-Wythe Institute for Social Research, and chair of the Economics Department.
All the while, Haulman pursued his research interests in the early economy of the United States, American economic thought, and Chinese economic reforms. His work has been published in numerous economics journals, and he worked passionately on his book, Virginia and the Panic of 1819, (2008), which his wife, Fredrika Teute, an early American historian, describes as a “labor of scholarly love.”
Through the decades, his influence and commitment reached far beyond academic accomplishments. He used his strong ties in the Williamsburg community to help launch the College’s Sharpe Community Scholars Program, in which first-year students apply concepts learned in the classroom to real world situations through community engagement. He also had an important impact on the Reves Center and the American Studies Program.
"Among his many accomplishments, Clyde was the very first instructor in the Sharpe program, supervising student research on alternative proposals to increase the availability of affordable housing in Williamsburg,” says Charles Center Director Joel Schwartz. “This is a concrete example of the way Clyde has been able to integrate his teaching and research with his work with the city."
Many of Haulman’s biggest fans simply admire him as their sharp-witted and engaging economics professor. After earning his Ph. D. from Florida State University, Haulman joined William and Mary’s economics department in 1969. A short time later, he began teaching the Principles of Economics course. The big class was so popular that it eventually moved to the large lecture room in Millington Hall and quickly became a College institution.
Those who know Haulman best would agree that his other important roles, like his terms on the Williamsburg City Council and now as the city’s mayor, simply underscore his legacy of working to expand the horizons of students and to improve the lives of those who live in this community .
Note: Peter Atwater '83 has launched an effort to honor Professor Haulman through a named endowment fund that will provide undergraduate scholarships at William and Mary. Read more.