In Memoriam: A. Graham Down

Brendan Nagle

Graham Down, president of the Washington D.C. chapter of the National Association of Scholars from 2005 to 2012, died August 30, 2014, his 85th birthday. Down was born in England and graduated from King’s College Cambridge and Christ Church Oxford. He was a brilliant musician and teacher. His tenure at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey won him the devotion of students who maintained close ties with him for the rest of his life. His career included stints as head of the College Board AP Program and two decades as Executive Director and President of the Council on Basic Education where he was at the center of several crucial initiatives in higher education and teacher preparation. For years the CBE, founded by Jacques Barzun and Hyman Rickover, was one of the few voices to draw attention to the excesses of progressivism, relativism and the promotion of egalitarianism at the expense of quality. He was a gracious host, a tireless champion of academic standards, and a great friend of NAS.

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