He prepared at the Lawrenceville School, returning as headmaster for a year after a distinguished career as an educator and college president.
At Princeton, he majored in philosophy, joined Quadrangle Club, and served on the boards of The Daily Princetonian and The Princeton Tiger. He married Sheila Gray in December 1955.
Phil earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history at Yale, his field being early American history. While dean of the faculty at Connecticut College, he was recognized as an “Outstanding Educator of America.” He served as president of Kenyon College from 1975 to 1995. During his tenure, Kenyon consolidated its identity as a coeducational institution, took steps to diversify its faculty and student body, and conducted its first comprehensive capital campaign.
Active in higher education organizations throughout his career, he was chair of the American Council on Education and led the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
In a Kenyon tribute, a colleague said of Phil, “He was energetic in everything he did, blessed with a good sense of humor and a rich, deep, and memorable laugh. He was also a great storyteller.”
Phil and Sheila, a poet, retired to Chebeague Island, Maine, where they became central figures in its cultural life.
He is survived by Sheila; his sons, Philip and John; grandchildren Adrian, John, David, Caterina, Lucia, and Ana; and his Chebeague community of friends.