David, whose father F.C. Bayley had been Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Dean of Men at Denison, had a lifelong connection with the college. Though he was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he grew up in Granville. At Denison, the philosophy major had served as president of his class, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Blue Key, and was inducted into the Kappa Kappa Sigma fraternity. David and close friend Bill Bowen ’55 served as head residents in Curtis Hall their senior year, and “ran a fairly loose ship,” recalls Mary Ellen Bowen ’55.
One of David and Bill’s antics happened during a “Bonds of Friendship” show—the highlight of which included auctioning off a pie to be thrown in someone’s face. On the night David was to be victim of the pie, it was Bill who won the bidding to do the honors. “Bill went onto the stage and picked up the pie, but instead of going toward David, he went to the side, opened the curtain and led out Connie, David’s mother,” remembers Mary Ellen. “Ever the showman, David gave his mother a big kiss, but that did not stop her as with great glee she pushed it into his face. The crowd loved it!”
David and Bill’s friendship continued well beyond Denison. Following his studies as a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford, David joined Bill at Princeton, where he earned his PhD in political science and launched a career that spanned decades and made a global impact. He authored 18 books, including his 1969 masterpiece The Police and Political Development in India and his 1976 Forces of Order: Police Behavior in Japan & the United States, for which the Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in 2016. He was Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York in Albany where he’d joined the faculty in 1985 following earlier positions with the University of Wisconsin and University of Denver. After retirement, he lectured for the Cambridge University executive course at the National Police Academy of India in Hyderabad, as well as in Cambridge.
Lawrence Sherman ’71, a Cambridge University Professor and Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Policing, first encountered his fellow Denisonian’s work in the Cambridge library while doing research on police corruption. Later, while Lawrence was a graduate student at Yale, David invited him to a conference on policing in society. “David was always the diplomat—very charming, very witty,” says Lawrence. “And I thought, ‘This is what happens when Denison meets social science at a high level.’”
Indeed, recalls Lawrence, David embodied Denison’s liberal arts’ commitment to critical thought. “He drew a lot of attention to the social context of policing, starting at a time when there was so much political activity around the police, much like today. What David did was get us to think much more critically and insightfully about what it means to be policing in a society full of sexism, racism, and informal customs that ultimately set the limits to what the police can do.” It’s only fitting, Lawrence points out, that David’s middle namesake, Hume, is the modern founder of empiricism—a philosophical theory rooted in factually-based knowledge. “David, [U.S. Senator] Richard Lugar ’54, and many other Denison graduates came to respect facts with great devotion.”
Throughout his lifetime, David remained connected to Denison. He joined the Board of Trustees in 1980, serving on the Buildings & Grounds Committee and chairing the Academic Affairs Committee from 1998-2003. He received the Denison Alumni Citation in 1976 and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Denison in 2011. In 2004 he was appointed a Life Trustee and remained active and engaged until the end. Says Denison President Adam Weinberg, “David’s keen insights, good-natured collegiality, and obvious affection for the college were a welcome element of any Board meeting he attended. We will miss him.”
David is survived by his partner, former Denison English Professor Susan Richardson; daughters Jennifer and Tracy; and granddaughter Sarah.