January 28, 2010
The Watson community is remembering with fondness and gratitude the life and service of Sen. Charles McCurdy (Mac) Mathias Jr., a past board member who has died at the age of 87.
The long-time senator was a close advisor of Thomas J. Watson Jr. and active supporter of Ambassador Watson’s efforts in the 1980s to convene academics and policymakers at Brown to address pressing global issues. As such, the Watson Institute that grew out of this period bears his imprint.
Sen. Mathias is being widely remembered as “the conscience of the Senate” in his day and as the model for what would today be called post-partisan politics.
Observing the current political landscape, political columnist David Broder wrote that, “At a moment when the Senate was proving its fecklessness, one of its finest alumni, Maryland Sen. Charles McC. Mathias, died at age 87 after a long, productive life. Fearlessly independent, quietly courageous, utterly charming, he was everything the Senate today needs and lacks.”