a tribute from Judith Linscott Martin

Dear Hermann,

In the tradition of students sending letters of gratitude to teachers who changed their lives, I send you mine.   In my freshman year at Cowell College I was assigned to you as my advisor, that person who, in the early years of the College, had the enviable position of helping interpret the world of higher education to those of us who had no family knowledge of college or a greater vision of an expanded life.

Beyond the required appointments to discuss classes you quite literally reached out to me, simply asking in the dining hall one evening, “How are you doing?” and “When are you coming to see me?”  See you, without requirement?  And so I learned from you the wisdom and gift of simply reaching out, connecting at the most human level.

I took that lesson to North Richmond, to listen and learn and contribute whatever I could to a dignified community.  And I have taken that wisdom of connection and caring into the world, to teach and lead schools and raise children of my own with those core values.  For those life lessons I truly thank you, you who appeared and asked simply,  “How are you doing?”  into “How will you contribute to making the world a more compassionate place, for the sake of our children and the adults who care for them?”

In gratitude for your constant vision as part of my life,
Judith Linscott Martin, Cowell College 1970