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In Memoriam

This first appeared as the Front Page for 7/15/99

A letter from our Alma Mater came in the mail yesterday.

It was the first letter that we had received from the school in a couple of months, so when Janet saw the envelope, she figured that it was the alumni association asking for donations again. You would think that by now they would have gotten a hint that we aren't planning on donating to the college because, plainly, the school just sucked. Still, we read every letter they sent, hoping to get some information on the few teachers that we felt were something special… but usually the only thing that accompanied the donation request form was a notice about the Student Center that was almost completed (they've been saying that line for the last five years&#41 or to announce that the school's soccer team won some kind of award. However, this time there wasn't any little trite bit of news enclosed in the envelope… just one piece of bad news.

Ronald Lettieri, our Political Science instructor and mentor had passed away last fall at the age of 48. No details or date, just a sheet of paper with his picture and a note that he had passed. Mr. Lettieri made an impact with every student in his class and when he wasn't instructing political science seminars, he was developing reading programs for the underprivileged children in Boston and writing grant proposals for the college. He saw something in Mount Ida College that nobody else seemed to see: potential.

Ronald Lettieri also recognized that the practice of politics was not limited to the people in local, state or federal legislatures. In his classes, he reminded us of the activists and the great people who sacrificed everything for what they believed in. Nothing sent that message home more clearly than when he convinced the the college to award Muhammad Ali a Doctor of Humanities degree. The Honorary Doctorate wasn't for his history in sports or to reward Ali for all of the school programs that he supported all throughout the country, but because he sacrificed everything when he decided to oppose a war that he found to be unjust.

Ron Lettieri saw what the college could be to the community, and it seems that he was the school's greatest advocate until the day he died.

Following the notice, there was a slip of paper that listed the scholarship programs that the college is putting together in his name, as well as a notice that they are commissioning a portrait for a new building that the grant proposals he had written over the past few years had funded.

For the first time, it's time to make a donation.

Posted in Scowls.

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