William Alexander Percy (1885-1942) was the son of US Senator LeRoy Percy, owner of the 20,000 acre Trail Lake plantation near Greenville, Mississippi. He matriculated at Sewanee at the age of 14, spent a year in Paris after graduation, and then earned a law degree from Harvard. He served with Herbert Hoover on the Commission for Relief in Belgium in 1916-17, and was subsequently appointed by Hoover to oversee relief efforts during the devastating Mississippi Delta flood of 1927, an experience recounted in his best-selling memoir, Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter’s Son (Knopf 1941). He published four volumes of poetry with Yale University Press, was the editor of the ground-breaking Yale Younger Poets series, was a godfather to the Southern Agrarian movement, and a friend of the gay African-American poet Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance. A lover of younger black men, Percy offers a fascinating window into the intersections of race, class, religion, age, and sexuality in the segregated South of the 1920s and 30s.
William Armstrong Percy III was Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, for over 40 years, specializing in classical and medieval history. A native of the Old South, he counts among his relatives prominent literary figures including William Alexander Percy (Lanterns on the Levee, 1941) and the novelist Walker Percy, as well as former governors and senators from Mississippi. He was valedictorian at Middlesex School in 1951, later enrolled at Princeton, and served in the US Army from 1953-1956. He received his MA from Cornell and his Ph.D. from Princeton (1964). Sexually active since the age of five, he turned his scholarly attention to gay issues in the 1980s, co-editing the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality with Wayne Dynes, co-authoring with Warren Johansson Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence (Harrington Park 1994) and Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece (University of Illinois Press 1996), as well as significant work on Roman demography. He counted among his friends prominent sexologists Vern Bullough and C. A. Tripp, as well as gay activists including Jim Kepner, Dorr Legg, Larry Kramer, and Charley Shively. For recent projects of William A. Percy that the Foundation has supported, see here. For more about his interests and oeuvre, see http://www.williamapercy.com.
Thomas K. Hubbard is the President and Executive Director of the William A. Percy Foundation for Social and Historical Studies. Trained as a classicist with a MA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from Yale (1980), he has taught at the University of Texas, Austin since 1988, where he is the James R. Dougherty, Jr. Centennial Professor in Classics. Among his many books are Greek Love Reconsidered (Wallace Hamilton, 2000), Homosexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents (University of California Press, 2003), Censoring Sex Research (Left Coast Press, 2012) (co-editor), and A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities (Wiley-Blackwell 2014). For his complete CV, see http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/classics/faculty/thubbard
Elijah Z. Shay is the office manager of the Percy Foundation. They have lived experience in homelessness, mental health adversity, and being LGBTQ / transgendered. Their focus is on reducing stigma and improving community health and wellness.
Elijah was born in 1993 in rural Northern California. In their childhood they were drawn to environmental, and social causes- volunteering whenever possible. As a young adult Elijah began working at a youth drop-in center, and shortly thereafter joined the Humboldt County Transitional-Age Youth Collaboration (HCTAYC) and served as an advocate for three years. They were the youngest member of the Humboldt Housing, and Homelessness Coalition directing committee, and received 5th place in the statewide “Directing Change” film competition for directing a PSA on transvisibility and mental health.
Elijah continued to be an advocate and a bridge to services for youth and the homeless as they attended College of the Redwoods. In 2015 they earned an Associates Degree with an emphasis in Behavioral and Social Science, and began to seek other opportunities to further their ambition of help others.
Following their passion for helping others, Elijah was hired as a Housing Support Specialist and a caregiver for adults with disabilities.