Parting is such sweet sorrow
Colleen Richmond loved life, literature, and laughter.With her death Jan. 26 - after a near two year battle with cancer - the university lost a colleague, mentor, poet, and beloved friend. The witty and warm associate professor of writing/literature left a legacy of compassion and spiritual depth. She was also known for fun outfits- "T-shirts with Shakespeare stuff on them," professor Deb Worden recalls - and a wry sense of humor.
An instructor at the university since 1992, Richmond was humble and quick to offer a word of encouragement. "I couldn't wait to get my mail as a student because of the witty comments she would write on my papers," former student Lanette Smith says.
She also was a lover of the written word and of the students and colleagues with whom she shared that love. "Colleen absolutely glowed when teaching about literature," says former student and current education professor Gennie Harris. "She also did a good job of challenging students. I remember turning in a paper that didn't meet her expectations. An A-minus wasn't good enough; she knew I could achieve more."
Richmond died at home at age 54 with husband Keith and daughters Holly and Shannon by her side. The university honored her memory with a service Feb. 8, at which colleague Kendra Irons, assistant professor of religious studies, shared: "Little did I know, when I met her, how much she would teach me about language, life . . . and alliteration."
Paul Anderson, professor of biblical and Quaker studies, greets Pope Benedict XVI at the Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communities held last fall in Rome. Anderson joined three dozen Christian leaders representing 1.8 billion Christians to discuss "visions for Christian unity." Back in the United States, Anderson is working with eight denominational leaders as the director of the George Fox University Congregational Discernment Project. The project is designed to help Christian congregations find ways to come to unity around a common sense of Christ’s leading - regardless of church polity and organizational structure.