All Posts Tagged With: "heroes"
A few days ago the University of Illinois lost one of its greatest leaders and legends, former Chancellor, Dean and Professor John Cribbet. Generations of Illinois College of Law alumni treasured Professor Cribbet, and Former U of I President Stan Ikenberry said, “John will be remembered as the most beloved Illini of all time.” There are several accounts online of Professor Cribbet’s life and legacy, including are articles prepared by the College of Law, the News Gazette, and the Chicago Tribune. and the College of Law will be having a ceremony to celebrate his contributions on Saturday.
Here with his permission, I would like to share the words of my friend and mentor, Dr. Stan Levy, former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, who worked closely with Chancellor Cribbet when he led our University:
Today’s e-mail brought the news of the passing of Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus John Cribbet. He had been ill for quite some time.
John was a prince of a person, a one of a kind Illinois original. Distinguished scholar, teacher, college dean and administrator. community-minded for both the University and Champaign Urbana communities. Before it was reorganized the Senate Committee
on Student Discipline was totally college deans, and the junior dean was ‘honored’ in serving as its chair. John received this assignment during some of the most difficult days at UIUC. When Bill Gerberding elected to leave the Chancellor’s post after only 18 months on the job, John was asked, almost dragooned, into serving first as Acting Chancellor and then as Chancellor at a time when the University was under great stress, athletic issues and significant budget stresses especially. John distinguished himself in many ways. In the dark days of his tenure, and there were many, he was the ‘cheerleader’ who always saw the silver lining. He was always upbeat. His love for the University; his respect for faculty; his gracious way of dealing with his staff; his respect for the young leaders of the community, students, were always present. His stories – and his speeches – were always insightful and memorable. His words were always his own; he wrote his own materials. And then there were his stories: Ponca City, General Patton, etc., a small array woven into amazing contexts. He was a craftsman of the first rank in his use of language.
He was a terrific leader, a superb boss, a confidant, a good friend, and amazing supporter of what we sought to do in Student Affairs. He was a gentleman at every turn and time. His five years as Chancellor helped to change the face of the Campus. It was a distinct personal pleasure, and constant learning experience to work for John.
May he rest in peace.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in Rowe Auditorium at the College of Law.
During the late 20th Century, those on the two coasts of the United States spoke disparagingly about Chicago, calling it the “Second City” and ridiculing the Midwesterners who lived there as much as the losing sports teams that SNL’s Superfans supported without question. Read more…
So I am driving home from a business trip and listening to some classic country music station on AM skip radio, hoping for some Johnny Cash, when a Paul Harvey segment comes on. Paul Harvey? I wasn’t sure he was still around. Maybe he is not because if he is he must be about 150? It may have been an old recording for all I know, but his story was really cool and got me to thinking.
Professor Randy Pausch who gave a very famous lecture: “Achieving your childhood dreams” passed away about a week ago. I was very moved by his lecture, and if you haven’t seen it, you really should watch it.
Today would be President James Madison’s 257th birthday. I visited his estate at Montpelier today to pay a few hours respect to the man and the mind that arguably did more than any other to shape our republic. His home is currently undergoing a dramatic renovation, for more on that click here. If you can find the time, take a few minutes and read about the father of our constitution, the draftsman of much of the Bill of Rights, an author of the federalist papers, a Congressman, a Secretary of State, our Fourth President, — the Sage of Montpelier.
If you have time to read just one work of Mr. Madison, read The Federalist No. 10.
Seventy five years ago yesterday, on March 4, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in to begin his first term. He delivered his famed inaugural address where he declared:
“Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
My grandfather, like many of his generation from rural Midwest, credits FDR and the New Deal from keeping our family from starving. This speech reminded me that our country has made it through far tougher times. More importantly, it ignited a fury that burns against the politics of winning by making people afraid. Candidates that drum up fears of economic devastation, of never ending war, or of terrorism, should be rejected. We should all hunger for a rebirth of FDR’s optimistic, uniquely American, spirit and resolve.
Update: The brilliant and lovely Dr. Rachel Maddow has a similar post up today. She says, in part:
In January 1941, at a time when the world was at war and the United States was more threatened than we had ever been in our history, FDR stood before the US Congress and hailed freedom from fear. That remains the paradigm of Democratic leadership in a threatening world.
When a politician looks at risks to our country and sees an opportunity for political exploitation, rather than an opportunity to rally the nation around our unified strength and fearlessness, that politician spits in the face of Democratic leadership and patriotic values.
If there’s one thing we ought to have learned from the George W. Bush presidency, it’s that there’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans on whether the American people should be encouraged to cower in fear.
A legend has fallen. Congressman Tom Lantos, the only holocaust survivor to ever serve in Congress, died early this morning. Congressman Lantos was the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a lifelong champion of human rights. I considered him among the best living arguments against term limits.
May the gentleman from California rest in peace.
This morning I stumbled across a set of six YouTube videos on a forum that was held by GenerationEngage featuring two of the most famous speechwriters in American history, Ted Sorenson and Peggy Noonan. Sorenson has been described as President Kennedy’s twin soul. Many insist that he ghost wrote at least the first draft of Profiles in Courage, JFK’s pulitizer winner, and he also wrote the bulk of Kenney’s famous first innaugural address. Peggy Noonan wrote for Reagan and the intelligent Bush, and she is a weekly columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
For some time I have intended to write a post on the chess scene in Dupont Circle, a park in the Northwest section of Washington, DC. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do it justice this afternoon, but I want to direct the collective attention of the Agora to a piece in today’s Washington Post Magazine on Tom Murphy, arguably the King of Dupont Circle. Cash from both my wallet and Billy Joe’s wallet has found its way into Tom’s. He is a hustler, but above that he is a teacher. The story from the Washington Post Magazine is also about the intoxicating way that chess, like art and music, can capture a man’s soul.
I know Tom Murphy, and consider him a friend. This article is relatively fair, but it does not fully do justice to his sparkling brilliance, his civility, his character, or his abiding integrity. Also, the author makes it a story about “what could have been”, but if you really know Tom Murphy, it’s hard to escape the notion that it’s not quite too late, that his story is really one of “what could be.”
Click here for the Washington Post Magazine write up. There is also a short video interview with Tom that will give you a glimpse into the special world of Dupont Circle’s Chess University. Also, check out the coverage (and other content) at The Chess Drum.
I hope you’ll take the time to read Tom’s story. Tom is a colorful genius, and rather than post at length about him here and now, I’m going to selfishly make the 2 block walk to the circle, tell Tom I liked the article, play a few games with him, and more likely than not, lose ten dollars.