Radley Daly ’49, Yale’s first and only University marshal who was also Yale deputy secretary and a longtime supporter of the University, died peacefully at his Southport, Conn., home on Jan. 5. He was 84 years old.
Daly undertook numerous roles in his 28 years working for Yale, beginning with a job as business manager for the University Library in 1968 and culminating with his honorary appointment to the post of University marshal — a position in which he organized major University events, such as Commencement, organized visits by national and international dignitaries and oversaw Yale Corporation activities — in 1991.
But those high-ranking University positions were by no means the only titles or tasks Daly assumed.
“I think that, from Yale’s point of view, he was one of those people that was here and stepped in and filled jobs that needed to be done when there was an opening,” Kem Edwards ’49, who worked with Daly on the alumni fund, said. “He was able to do a number of things — and not all of them were very glamorous — but he was there, and he did it. I think he contributed a lot to the Yale well-being over the years.”
Daly — known by his friends as Rad — was in many ways a go-to man for Yale. He worked for six different University presidents and, through the years, filled in as the interim director of various departments, such as the Yale Peabody Museum, the Audio Visual Department and the Office of Public Affairs.
“He was a man for all seasons,” said Cheever Tyler ’59, former president of the Board of Governors at Mory’s, on which Daly served as a longtime and well-liked vice president before becoming president of the Mory’s Association from 2002 to 2005. “He was very friendly and very smart. He had the ability to make judgments about situations involving people that were very perceptive.”
After beginning his Yale career as the library’s business manager, Daly became the associate librarian for administration in 1971 and associate provost for personnel in 1975.He was named director of administrative services four years later and then took on the additional duties of University associate secretary in 1986.
Daly was appointed deputy secretary of Yale in 1990, before receiving his final post, the honorary position of University marshal a year later.
Even after his official retirement in 1996, Daly remained involved with the University — visiting on an almost daily basis and working on projects such as the Yale Tomorrow capital campaign.
Daly was also a member of the Elizabethan Club, the Yale Library Association, the Yale University Art Gallery Associates, Dwight Hall and the New Haven Lawn Club, as well as treasurer of the Kingsley Trust Association, the incorporated organization for the Scroll and Key Society. He was a former president of the Yale Club of Eastern Fairfield County and a 25-year agent of the class of 1949 alumni fund.
“He was the most gracious mentor and colleague, kind to everyone regardless of their position,” said Elizabethan Club member and Associate Vice President of New Haven and State Affairs Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93. “He knew, and loved, Yale better than anyone and was the most loyal and stalwart of Elis.”
Daly was born in Stamford, Conn., on Aug. 6, 1925. He spent a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before serving with the U.S. Marine Corps between 1944 and 1946. Daly earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration from Yale in 1949.
At Yale, Daly played for the Silliman College hockey team and was a member of the Scroll and Key senior society. And Daly’s knack for filling roles that needed to be filled was evident even as an undergraduate.
“He was one of those great guys who could do just about anything,” his classmate Edwards said. “He’s the kind of guy that to me represents the Old Yale — a gentleman willing to step in, and pitch in, and do whatever is necessary … I think that he sets an example of what that era was.”