A Commitment to Giving to a Place that Was Home

Editor’s note: The following article first appeared in Whitman’s 2013-2014 Annual Report.

Most people who have spent a good deal of time in Syracuse have likely heard someone refer to “the light” when giving directions in the Tipperary Hill area of the city. The light isn’t just a landmark for turning left or right, it is symbol of the area’s history.

When the light at the intersection of Tompkins and Milton was installed in 1925, some Irish youth protested the “British” red light being on top of the “Irish” green light. At the request of the town alderman, the signal was rotated. Soon, the State of New York stepped in and city officials reversed the colors. Protests sparked again, city leaders relented and the green light was moved above the red for good.

Syracuse University alumnus Richard Haydon ’66 B.A. (A&S) grew up near that light, and he fully understands its significance. Out of deference and fondness for his childhood neighborhood, Haydon named the hedge fund he founded Tipp Hill Capital Management, LLC.

Haydon’s connection to Syracuse goes beyond growing up near that light. His father spent years working in the physical plant of Syracuse University. Haydon and his brother, John, reaped the benefits of his father’s labors by attending SU tuition free. But Haydon drew more from his father than free tuition. He acquired the values of hard work and gratitude.

A chartered financial analyst, Haydon has had a distinguished career in finance. Before founding Tipp Hill Capital, he worked for some of Wall Street’s most prestigious houses, including Neuberger Berman, Goldman Sachs & Co., Gabelli & Co. and Omega Advisors.

Haydon believes in the importance of heritage and giving back, and he lives those ideals by doing more than naming a company after the home of his youth. He and his wife, Helen, are longtime supporters of SU and the Whitman School. They donated a classroom in Whitman in honor of his parents and funded the Haydon Family Faculty Fellowship, which is currently held by Whitman Professor of Finance Amber Anand. They established the Haydon Family Endowed Fund for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp For Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) and have made donations to the Maxwell School and the SU Lacrosse Program.

“Richard is well regarded as a successful investor, but more importantly, he is known as a genuinely good person,” shares Tom Foley, Whitman executive associate dean. “He seeks to share his generosity in ways that will make a lasting impact, from supporting faculty fellowships to endowing the EBV fund. He also gives freely of his time and insight in an advisory capacity and to students as someone who has worked diligently and achieved significant success in a turbulent and demanding industry.”

In addition to financial support, Haydon is dedicated to service. He is a member of the Whitman Advisory Council and a life trustee of Syracuse University. He has worked on the Commitment to Learning campaign, the Metropolitan Advisory Committee, the Society of Fellows and the Athletic Committee. Haydon embraces the opportunity to share his experience with Whitman students and did so recently when six accounting and finance majors visited New York City as part of the Frankel Scholars Program. In recognition of his unwavering loyalty and dedication, Haydon received the inaugural Martin J. Whitman Distinguished Service Award.

Two of the Haydons’ three children now share the bond of being an SU alumnus with their father. His sons Leigh and Sean graduated from Whitman in 2003 and 2007, respectively. For Haydon, a long-time resident of New Jersey, his sons’ time at SU likely meant a few drives beneath the upside down stoplight.