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In Memoriam: Doris ‘Dottie’ Payson, Advisory Board Member, Philanthropist

June 12, 2024

Dottie Payson
Doris “Dottie” Payson

Doris “Dottie” Payson ’57 first parlayed a bachelor’s degree in education from Syracuse University into a teaching career in the Brooklyn School District. But her passion for travel and learning about the wonders of the world led to her second career in the travel industry, serving clients at Jeffrey’s World of Travel, Ltd. in Great Neck, New York.

Payson passed away on Feb. 12, 2024, at the age of 87. She served on the Maxwell Advisory Board from 1998 to 2013 and was a life member of the University’s Board of Trustees, which she joined in 2000.

Payson’s support for the Maxwell School included the establishment of a scholarship in honor of her parents, the late David and Tillie Greenberg. Her other philanthropic endeavors included the College of Arts and Sciences and the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. Her commitment to the University included service as co-chair of the Academic Affairs Committee from 2003-07 and as an alumni representative for the Office of Admissions for nearly two decades. Payson also served on the Metropolitan New York Advisory Board and was co-chair of the National Campaign Council for the Commitment to Learning Campaign.

After graduating from the School of Education, Payson earned a master’s degree in history from Columbia University and enrolled in New York University’s Law School but took a break to raise a family. While parenting, she taught in the Long Island School System.

Payson and her husband, Martin, a media executive and former vice chairman of Time Warner Inc., set up the Martin and Doris Payson Foundation. Dottie Payson also served on the boards of the United Jewish Appeal, Yivo Institute for Jewish Research and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. It was her love of the arts and international travel that drew her to the travel agency business where she served an impressive array of clients and earned the description “travel agent extraordinaire.”

Published in the Spring 2024 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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