Daniel O'Connor Memories

Daniel O'Connor - Share your memories and reflections

His gift to me was his ability to communicate his passion: not just his passion for his chosen area of study but his passion for learning! I can still see him in my mind's eye and hear parts of his lectures. His voice came back to me while touring Jerusalem and again when I began to study the old testament. These seeds of knowledge, implanted by great teachers, grow and re-seed to fruit again. A quiet immortality if you will. My condolences to all his family.
Mary Bijur '65

One of the finest and most influential mentors of my life. I enjoyed his courses in Old and New Testament so much that I also joined an expedition in 1974 to the Middle East. His zeal, knowledge and concern spanned from the student to their place in the world. Dr. O'Connor truly personified the qualities that made St. Lawrence University a life long experience.
Calla Bassett MD

Dan was a super person, very giving, and interested in what others were doing. As a fellow wood carver, I know he was constantly striving to learn all he could, and I think he was that way about everything in life. He was very good to me, showing me the way he carves feathers on birds and other such talents. He was a prince of a guy, and of course a true gentleman of the first order. I consider myself very fortunate to have known Dan and to share the same hobby.
John P. (Jack) Taylor

I'm not sure what possessed me to do this, but I took Ancient Greek from Professor O'Connor. I was the lone freshman in the class with 3 upperclassmen. The class met in Professor O'Connor's office. There was nowhere to hide in the classroom! It was quite ominous sitting across the desk from Professor O'Connor trying to learn ancient greek. I had figured the only greek I would learn at St. Lawrence would be on the front of the Houses where I spent most of my time. I could share so many memories of the kind "nudges" Professor O'Connor gave me to try harder in his class but my most notable memory of Professor O'Connor... and my academic education at St Lawrence, was the call that came at the end of my second semester of his class. Despite all the extra time he spent with me, I was on the brink of failing the class. I knew that if I failed, I not only failed the second semester but I didn't get credit for the first semester as well. That meant I had to pay for two classes on my own (my dad's expection- he didn't pay for credits I did not earn!). I was packing up to leave for the summer and one of my roommates yelled from the hall phone, "Lee- your professor is calling!"... my heart stopped..."Hello??? This is Lee..." - "This is Professor O'Connor- GOOD NEWS- you got a D!" He was so excited to tell me the news! Professor O'Connor taught me many great lessons, he pushed me harder to learn and to want to learn than any other teacher. Professor O'Connor truly loved his students and taught me to love learning for the sake of learning. I was more proud of my D in Professor O'Connor's class than any other grade. Thank you Professor O'Connor for never giving up on us.
Lee Stowell '87

I was one of perhaps two religion majors from the class of 1982. During one of my many courses with Dr. O'Connor, I came to believe I was being held to a different standard than the non-majors in the class. When I objected, he noted that his recommendation would count far more than any grade I would ever receive from him.

I was never one of his best students but I became a better one. And seven years after I graduated, remembering that very same conversation, he gave me that graduate school recommendation....

Dr. O'Connor was a wonderful story teller (lightning, Niebuhr, Frost), a great scholar, and a gifted and compassionate teacher. I think of him often and wish him peace.
Scott Giles '82

Professor Daniel O'Connor was a profound person with vision. I first met him in Jerusalem when he interviewed prospective students for St. Lawrence University. During the former part of my undergraduate years at SLU, Professor O'Connor was a patient and encouraging advisor. It was a privilege, despite the lapse of time, to share with him the news of having obtained a PhD. That he saw the fruition of a judgment made long ago come full-circle made the event even more meaningful. Professor O'Connor understood the significance of such an accomplishment to someone coming from this part of the world.

May he rest in peace and heartfelt condolences to his family.
Awad Mansour '89