Saturday, March 30 2013

I write with tragic news that our dear friend and esteemed colleague, Harrold McDermott, died Friday. I am simply heart-broken at the loss of such an extraordinary man in the prime of life. harrold mcdermott pic

Anupam Agarwal and I have spoken with Theresa, Harrold's widow, yesterday and today. She is in Birmingham with a couple of their children, who are in their 20s and 30s, and their other children are on their way. Anupam and I will visit with Theresa and their children this afternoon. We will do all we can to support her and their family through this devastating time, and I hope that each of you will hold them in your thoughts and prayers.

In this time, perhaps the most important thing we can do is to recognize and honor those around us, and to tell those who are dear how much they mean to us. Especially on this Easter weekend and in this time of Passover, I am mindful of the extraordinary gift of life and love, and I am deeply grateful for the gifts we have, even in the midst of tragedy. I hope you will join me in this gratitude and in supporting each other and those around us.

If I can provide further information or help address any concern you have, please call me at 934-7719 (direct line to my office).

I love working with each of you across the Department, and a big part of my joy at work has been working with Harrold. So I know that many will miss his leadership and collegiality.  While each of us is stunned and heart-broken by our tragic loss of Harrold, let us remember our great gifts of family and friends, be thankful for these gifts, and reach out to those around us.

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