With great sadness, we mourn the loss of the Rev. David McAlpin Jr., a stalwart champion, indefatigable leader, and generous donor of The Watershed Institute. Rev. McAlpin served for many years on the Watershed’s Board of Trustees, including several years as Chair. He led the organization through exciting periods of accomplishment and growth, and times that were more challenging. After his tenure on the Board, he served on the Watershed’s Advisory Board for more than two decades. Over the years, he was a faithful and enthusiastic participant at the Watershed Fest gala, the organization’s Annual Meeting, and numerous other Watershed programs and events.
Dave was a kind and gentle soul with a passion for environmental protection and social justice. At our 2019 Annual Meeting, to help commemorate the Watershed’s 70th Anniversary, we announced the creation of the McAlpin Library to honor him and his father, David Hunter McAlpin. The images below are from that meeting.
The plaque that hangs on the wall outside the library reads:
First Family of the Watershed
David Hunter McAlpin and his son, the Reverend David McAlpin, Jr., each played an essential role in the Watershed’s history.
The elder Mr. McAlpin, an investment banker and champion of nature and the arts, conceived of the idea of an organization focused on protecting and restoring the environment of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed. He worked with a small number of other visionaries to found the Watershed in 1949 and was one of its key leaders for years thereafter. His son, an ordained minister and champion of the environment, civil rights, and affordable housing, was a strong leader of the Watershed in the 1970s and 1980s.
Both men were ardent conservationists and philanthropists, and both led the organization as its chairman. Together, they served on the Watershed’s Board of Trustees for a remarkable 35 years.
Images of David McAlpin at the 2019 Watershed Fest celebration: