There are so many massive tragedies in the world that need to be addressed at the moment. However, for me, there is only one that I want to write about today and it is the passing of my dear friend, Joseph LaGuardia. Although he often referred to himself as a “nobody,” Joe is a person who touched countless lives and made our world a more loving place.
Joe was the first person to welcome me to Ursuline College more than four years ago. Before I began my position as dean, Joe, who was serving as interim dean, met with me every week for about 2 months. As we both transitioned to new roles, we exchanged gifts without knowing the other had purchased one. We laughed that we both bought each other books. Joe shared with me his book of poetry Life Seasons, which of course is brilliant. And I gave Joe the book The Presidents’ Club and joked with him that as only those who had served as presidents knew what it was like in the oval office, he and I were in the Dean’s Club, and we were among the few who knew what it was like to serve in the dean’s office.
I was so fortunate that Joe agreed to continue to mentor me and we met weekly for breakfast, lunch, etc. to discuss how to manage the many things that would pop up in the world of academic administration. It was not long before Joe and I became very close friends. Continue reading “In Memory of Joseph R. LaGuardia: The Good and Faithful Servant by Gina Messina”