may not have ever fully realized the impact you had on the many
of us who came through Yale back in the 1960s. In fact, neither
did I until I began to organize events within the Class
of '68 to present you with the title of Permanent
Chaplain. When people heard of our effort time and again
countless individuals -- many of whom I only knew vaguely or not
at all -- wanted to come forward and wish you well, remembering
one incident after another and smiling in warm gratitude for the
memories of your principled stance at Yale and in the world beyond.
other things you taught us to embrace life -- not shrink from it.
In freshmen or sophomore year I remember you co-taught a Dwight
Hall Seminar with Fenno Heath on Wednesday evenings in Hendrie Hall
on the Theology of Bach. We sang the Gloria
from the Bach B-Minor Mass [<-- click here. We were never
as good as this, and we didn't have trumpets.]
remember Fenno would wax eloquent about the theological points that
Bach was trying to convey, and you would underscore what was going
on musically. You wouldn't let us get away without hammering home
the point that for Bach the Glory of God was directly linked to
the promise of Peace on
Earth! [...there is no pause!" you would yell,
"Bach didn't put any break in here so don't you put one
Beyond the Gloria, we then learned from you what it meant to awake
from sleeping with Wachet
auf, ruft uns die Stimme. Scripture
and music had never been so alive nor had they ever spoken so directly
as they did to us when you awakened us to hear our own souls singing
with Bach across the ages.
Those who sang with you in the Yale
Russian Chorus also enjoyed your warm heart and generosity of
spirit on numerous occasions. Beyond this, the many who just heard
you speak realized that simply your presence on campus made their
Yale years something special to remember.
For my part I find myself repeating your thoughts and words throughout
my writing and lecturing over the years. You can, no doubt, spot
a bit of this in the linked articles in the left column. Your statements,
your work and your life stand as a fond and challenging memory to
me and many of my generation who seek to extend the love and compassion
we have known in your life to others we can embrace in the time
that is given to us.
Go well, stay well.
With boundless gratitude,