Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Hersey, Harry Adams, 1870-1951
|Harry Adams Hersey (1870-1951), A1903, C1906, G1906, H1940, was a Universalist minister and historian of music at Tufts College.
Harry Adams Hersey was born on April 22, 1870, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Before entering Tufts as a freshman in 1899, Mr. Hersey had already made a living for himself as a piano tuner and a partner in a music store. He completed his bachelors degree in 1903, and continued on at Tufts, receiving a bachelor of divinity and master of arts in 1906. He was ordained at Goddard Chapel in 1906.Hersey went on to serve as a pastor in several cities in both Connecticut and Massachusetts for eighteen years. During that time he also served as secretary for the New Haven Universalist Church and was on the Danbury Board of Education for eight years. He was an enthusiastic cyclist and lifelong supporter of Tufts.
Although he remained a dedicated alumnus by serving as a recruitment officer for Tufts in Danbury, Connecticut, his most notable donation to the Tufts community was in his capacity as a writer. Mr. Hersey's love of both music and Tufts compelled him to write a historical work which chronicled the history of music at Tufts from 1856 to 1945.After extensive correspondence between himself and the Tufts record keepers, and through his own research, Mr. Hersey was able to chronicle and list the musical organizations, programs, notable teachers, performances, and other related information into his book. In addition, Mr. Hersey included biographical sketches of some of the most influential members of the Tufts musical community, such as Leo R. Lewis, whom Mr. Hersey attributes with truly allowing the Tufts musical program to blossom. After seven years of diligent work, Hersey completed The History of Music at Tufts College, which the trustees then agreed to publish at the university's expense.
In appreciation for both his historical and recruitment efforts on behalf of Tufts, Hersey was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1940 and the alumni distinguished service key in 1948.Mr. Hersey died on October 11, 1951, at his home in Somerville, Massachusetts, at the age of eighty years old.
Hersey sent two sons, a daughter, and a grandson to Tufts, and a third son was a teaching fellow in English.