Dr. Robert A. Sanders (180), a former chairman of Central’s English department, and for many years the archivist and historian for the Associated Alumni of Central High School, died on March 21.
Dr. Sanders “will live on forever as a member of the CHS Faculty Hall of Fame,” said David Kahn (220), who succeeded Dr. Sanders as AACHS archivist. “His wit, charm and fabulous way of writing, using the English language to its fullest, will be greatly missed.”
Dr. Sanders’ “From the Archives” columns in the Alumni Journal brought life to the thousands of pictures, documents and symbols that he helped catalog and preserve for future generations to appreciate.
In June 2009, for example, he wrote about the scrapbook of Civil War Union Gen. Joseph Hooker.
“Inside its pages we meet a fellow alumnus from the 46th Class (June 1865), Samuel Anderson McKeever. A large selection of his articles written for the New York Telegraph in his capacity as a ‘corespondent’ are pasted on the pages of the old scrapbook. Because the young man had been graduated in 1865, the compiler must have felt an affinity to those post-war years and had assembled those articles in the book.
“Rarely are we able to get insights into the thinking of Central alumni from those early classes, therefore this is an opportunity to meet an unexpected personality from Central of long ago.
“Unfortunately this fellow lived only until age 30, but he had acquired a very large following as attested by the fondness and genuine esteem shown by the many obits in this memorial collection.”
Dr. Sanders goes on in the column to relate McKeever anecdotes about “Gen. Grant” and “a bad night in the same shabby hotel room that formerly had been used by Harriet Beecher Stowe of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” fame.
In conclusion he wrote: “I do invite you to come to the Alumni Archives and read for yourself the many delightful New York Telegram vignettes delineated by this fine ‘correspondent’ of our 46th class. I guarantee you will be both entertained and pleased to have returned to those fascinating days of the 19th century.”