Mourning the Loss of Rev. Peter Gomes - March, 2011

March 2, 2011

St. Lawrence University joins with those throughout the nation and world in mourning the death of the Reverend Peter J. Gomes, a Harvard minister, theologian and author. The University was fortunate to have the Rev. Gomes visit on two memorable occasions, the Inauguration of President William L. Fox and our 2010 Commencement.

President Fox made the following statement, upon learning of the Rev. Gomes' death:

"Peter Gomes has been a national treasure - in intellect, oratory, and moral leadership - for many decades now. His death undoubtedly leaves the Harvard community in profound grief, but other universities around America and in Britain will also mourn the loss of a voice that affirmed the scriptural values of human decency and a pen that inspired thousands to a deeper understanding of their own faith traditions.

"I was first his student relatively early in his career. And he was a very demanding teacher - scenes of our first encounters were rehearsed with each other just last year when he came to St. Lawrence. We later became good friends who shared much common ground in the rigors of theological study, the purposes of a liberal arts education, and the sensibility of well-ordered traditions. He was a man grounded in all that, but was also wise with a very disarming wit and sense of humor, really playfulness.

"His last of 40 honorary degrees was bestowed by St. Lawrence; his last commencement address was heard on our campus by the Class of 2010. It's perhaps an odd privilege to claim, but I am very happy that St. Lawrence was also a part of his life and that the day he was here in May was unforgettably beautiful."

Text and audio of the Rev. Gomes' 2010 Commencement speech may be found here.

To read more about the life of the Rev. Gomes, visit the Harvard web site.