Board of Managers member Claudia Hammerman ’87 resigned at the conclusion of the Board’s November 4 weekend retreat. In the subsequent days, her name was removed from the Board of Managers website.
“I confirm that I have resigned from the Board of Managers, but have no further comment at this time,” she said in an email to The Clerk.
While Hammerman did not say why she resigned, two Board members told The Clerk that Hammerman resigned because she was “upset” over the October 9 statement from Dean John McKnight and Dr. Nikki Young, Vice President for Institutional Equity and Access.
Hammerman believed the statement, which was emailed to students and the Board of Managers, was not a strong enough condemnation of Hamas and their actions, according to two members of the Board. Dean McKnight and Dr. Young have no comment at this time.
“It was just so clear that generations of grief had turned into resentment and probably some hate as well so that’s the place [she was] speaking from,” said a Board member attendee of the November 4 meeting.
Last Saturday’s executive meeting was “the most challenging conversations l’ve had since joining the board,” another member of the Board present at the meeting told The Clerk.
The Board’s retreat included a dinner open to all students on Thursday, November 2, during which students discussed the current campus climate amidst the Israel-Hamas war.
“There was a disproportionate focus by Board members on the impact that the war had on Jewish students in spite of the many students who expressed interest in discussing divestment,” says Sarah Campbell, a senior who attended the dinner.
Hammerman, a litigation partner at the N.Y law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, joined the Board of Managers in 2016 and served on the Presidential Search Committee that hired President Raymond in 2019.
In 2014, she created the Hammerman Family Scholarship Fund, which “honors the College’s long tradition of offering need-blind admission,” according to the Fall 2015 issue of the Haverford College magazine.
Both Beever, and Michael Kim, the Vice Chair, declined to comment. In a November 8 email, Beever reminded all Board members not to comment about “Board business” to non-Board members, citing that Board members had already been contacted by The Clerk.