Brother Haig der Marderosian

Born in Brookline, Haig der Marderosian later lived in Needham, where he was a graduate of the town’s public schools. He attended Babson College and received a bachelor’s degree in literary interpretation from Emerson College in 1954.

Haig later earned his master’s degree in speech at Emerson and joined the faculty there as an instructor in communications in 1956, before being appointed as a professor in 1972, in which he taught public speaking, advocacy and argumentation, sales persuasion and debate.

From 1956 until 1982, Haig was the debating coach at the Norfolk County Prison. The prison debaters, under his guidance, attained a nearly perfect score over the years debating students from Emerson.

He was the advisor to the active brotherhood of the Alpha Chapter from 1963 to 1968, and again after the death of Leonard Riendeau, from 1980 to 1984. As an advisor, he regularly attended business meetings of the active brotherhood. Haig also served as president of the National Council.

He also was director of Emerson’s forensic program from 1956 until 1963, directed the school’s speech-education area in 1974 and was director of the Alumni Association in 1959.

Outside of Emerson College, Haig was president in 1962 of the New England Forensic Association and headed the New England Speech Association. in 1968. He also served as vice president of the American Association of University Professors in 1969 and was its president in 1980.

Haig was a loving and devoted son and brother; a warm and caring nephew and cousin; and a kind and considerate friend and colleague. He was also an eloquent speaker, an outstanding teacher, a brilliant debater, and a leader of his peers. His contributions to Emerson College can never be measured. Nor can anyone fathom the love and affection held for him by the hundreds and thousands of students, colleagues, administrators, and staff who knew him over the years.

–Brother Philip Amato, ’60

Though he passed away in 1984, Haig der Marderosian’s memory is not forgotten at Emerson, and certainly not amongst the brothers of Phi Alpha Tau. Since Phi Alpha Tau’s 85th anniversary in 1987, the fraternity annually recognizes a brother who has gone above and beyond the call of duty with the “Haig der Marderosian Brother of the Year” award.


  1. I submitted a poem about Haig right after his passing in 1984 and I believe it was published in the Emerson magazine shortly thereafter. If you could send me a version of it i would be grateful.

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