Interview with Ray Hayes (Amherst ’59)


Where are you currently residing?

My year is divided equally in Silver Spring, MD and Woods Hole, MA. I am currently in Maryland.

How would you summarize your experience at Dunbar High School in D.C.?

My high school years were great. Dunbar provided an excellent education with positive feedback from faculty and administration. Dunbar was a supportive and comfortable setting for all students aspiring to go on to college.

What specific factors encouraged you to attend Amherst?

I was recruited and positively influenced by Chauncey Larry, Percy Barnes and Montague Cobb, all black alumni from Amherst and friends of my family. My visit to the college positively reinforced my choice of a small liberal arts college, thus leading to my decision to attend Amherst.

What was your relationship like with Lawrence Burwell and Robert S. Jason before, during, and after your college years? (From my research, these men were the two other Dunbar graduates from the Amherst class of 1959.)

Larry, Bob and I were very close friends. We grew up in the same neighborhood in Washington, DC, were all interested in science and medicine and were encouraged by the opportunity to attend Amherst together.

Did you also happen to know Harold Cornelius Haizlip (Dunbar ’53, Amherst ’57)?

Yes, very well. His experience at the college was a factor in my decision.

Did you also happen to know Mansfield Castleton Neal (Dunbar ‘57, Amherst ’61)?

Yes, very well. In fact, I had a chance to spend the day with Manny and his wife a couple of years ago at a book signing on Martha’s Vineyard.