Donald Jon Lipkind

Don Lipkind was a brilliant mind whose gentle spirit engulfed all who knew him.   He excelled at philosophy, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, while also being involved in the Yale Banner for all four years of his college career.   My favorite memory of Don involved his joining five of us in the classic Spring Break Road Trip, where we drove to Florida and spent the week being silly.  Some of the road trippers decided to bail out of the long drive home, leaving Don and me with the task of driving the final stretch on the long New Jersey Turnpike.  He hung in there, and we made it home safely. 

Don always wanted to become a college professor.  But randomly, without any warning, Don developed a serious brain tumor.  An emergency operation seemed to have solved the problem, and Don lived some happy years after college.  But then, he ultimately succumbed.  Generations of college students were deprived of the experience of having Don Lipkind as their philosophy professor. 

Don grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.   He sent the sweetest wedding gift when my wife and I married — a beautiful coffee table book of photographs of the land on both sides of the border between Canada and the United States.  But even more impressive was the note he sent accompanying the book, which he described as a “monument to international friendships.”  He wrote, “If I were a positivist, I would have to argue that friendships between nations have to be reduced to personal friendships among members of the nations concerned.”  The book he sent us was entitled “Between Friends – Entre Amis”. 

Larry Alexander 


Don Lipkind was a brilliant philosophy student and loved his four years at Yale, where he roomed sophomore and junior years in Berkeley College with Bob Eshbach, Richard Schwartz and Jon Slaff.

Don loved College life and enjoyed working with Master Robert Triffin in improving the life of the College, which awarded him a prize for his many contributions to college life. He also enjoyed St Anthony Hall and many other activities, including the Yale Banner. Don liked to discuss and gently argue his always logical and well reasoned positions.

Most of all, Don loved the life of the mind, especially analytic philosophy, to which Yale introduced and trained him. He was also an easy going roommate, dear friend and warm colleague to all.  Following Yale, Don was awarded a full scholarship to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. There, he continued to excel as a budding analytic philosopher.

He obtained his first teaching position at the University of Calgary before he was awarded his PhD. There was magnificent poetry in his appointment; he had grown up in Calgary and loved his native city for all of its outdoor splendor and lack of pretension. He returned home as the accomplished scholar he had become and lived out his all too brief life back home. He is sorely missed by all of his many friends in the Class of 1972.

Richard M. Schwartz 


I think Don’s whole life was “magnificent poetry”.  I know it’s still very hard for me to describe his life as “whole” as in “over”.  We’ve certainly had a lot more time than he.  Measuring by meaning makes me slightly less sad, and I resolve to think of “whole” as the adjectival form of  “integrity”.

Adele Wick

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