Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Duncan O’Dwyer ’60 stands ready to serve. He is a member of the board of trustees at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y., which his law firm Forsyth, Howe, O’Dwyer, Kalb & Murphy has represented for more than 20 years.

Service, however, started long before that for the English graduate. During his time at Lafayette, Reserve Officers Training Corp was mandatory for a student’s first two years. O’Dwyer continued, serving as brigade commander during the first semester of his senior year. “We commissioned 70 officers out of my class,” he says.

O’Dwyer spent 26 years in the Army Reserves. What did he learn?

“Discipline,” he says, “and subordination of what you want to do….You did what you were told, when you were told, and you did a good job. You functioned for the good of the group.”

His group of fellow English majors was much smaller – he was one of nine – yet he wouldn’t have traded that education.

“That was the most spectacular preparation for law school,” he says. “It basically taught you to read, write, and analyze.”

Standout faculty included William Watt, who headed the English department.

“He was the most incredible guy,” he says of the co-author of the textbook in his Survey of English Literature course. “Conversant by memory….the Victorians, Romantics.”

He also appreciated Donald McClusky, who taught him about the English novel and drama.

“He was a very kind and gentle individual,” O’Dwyer says. “He liked his students and enjoyed what he was doing. That rubbed off on the students. You wanted to be prepared for him.”

He never forgot his ROTC training or where it began.

“I learned all my management skills from the Army,” he says. “I learned a lot of discipline at Lafayette.”

It’s served him well.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles