My college mentor, my friend, and my colleague Gerald Gill died of a heart attack last week at home in Cambridge. I am at a loss for words, and can only say that he had a singular influence on my life. That it is because of him I became an historian and scholar–his passion for history and dedication to his students were a life changing example for me that I have tried to emulate. That he made me, and all of those who knew him, better people–his personal example of loving-kindness and decency were striking to all who met him. And that he gave me faith that we could together create a better world, that despite our own varied struggles we could come together in community.
Gerald, your loss leaves a hole in all of the lives that you touched. We can only strive to live up to the standards you set. I will miss you terribly, always.
2 thoughts on “Gerald Gill, I Miss You”
i remember dr. gill so well. he was such a good man and i can understand your feelings of loss. i am so sorry. he cared about you and so many of his students in ways that teachers and professors should. you were lucky to have known him and to have had him as your mentor and so were your dad and myself.
I taught Gerald Gill at Howard University where he was a graduate student. I remember him as perhaps the most gifted and sincere of all students of his era. He was smart, pollite, enjoyed learning, exceeded all classroom and research expectations, and loved history. Early on I knew he was destined to become a great scholar and teacher. We became friends and when he was fellow at Harvard, I was invited to speak based on his recommendation. We were friends, but over the years lost touch.
I never forgot him and often spoke about his genius to my wife, children and friends. One night I decide to google Gerald to check on his status and wherabouts. It was then that I learned of his passing, and his illustrious career at Tufts. Nothing surprised me about his enormous success at Tufts, though his death made me pause to reflect on this wonderful scholar and friend.
Greald was exceptional and his genuiness was as transparent as his brilliance.
He was the best graduate student I ever taught or mentored. I am so pleased he impacted the lives of many students and colleagues. What a guy —
Archivist of the National Education Association
Visiting Scholar — George Washoington University
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