This was the cryptic text of an email that only some of us at work received today, "We have received some bad news. We welcome you to come to room 503, between 10:45 and noon today, to come together as a community."
I suppose the most common conclusion that can be drawn is someone died and in fact, there were two names that came to mind immediately: one because the person in question is in the mid eighties and as much as it wouldn't make sense, it would make sense. The other, a faculty member in their seventies who has been quite ill of late and out on sick leave all last semester. Someone did pass away, and "suddenly", but it was neither of the two people that came to mind in that moment of nervous response to the email, rather, it was John "Sully" Sullivan.
Sully had run the Boston marathon a number of times and always seemed to be in great shape. He was a well respected professor or history and a member of the Mass Bay Community College family for close to four decades. Sully had a unique calming effect and even when very angry, somehow was able to maintain perspective and keep his cool and in disagreement, he was always respectful.
It's a great loss to our community and I am sure his students will be as shocked as we were and lost without him. I salute your legacy my friend, I am proud to have known you and to have experienced your ability to reason and challenge. My thoughts and prayers are with your family an your extended family as we all mourn your death. Rest in Piece.