R-MC Board of Trustees Chairman Macon Brock '64, Tim Russert, President Robert Lindgren
I know I speak for all of us when I say that our hearts and spirits are heavy with the untimely passing of one of our nation's most respected journalists, Tim Russert. On behalf of our Randolph-Macon family, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family during this time of unspeakable loss.
Randolph-Macon had the privilege of having Tim Russert with us just two weeks ago, on May 31, for this year’s Commencement Ceremony. Each of us who met Tim found him to be a kind and genuine man with a passion for others. He was excited to be in Ashland for the first time. He delivered a rousing and inspiring address to our graduates, their families and guests, and R-MC was honored to award him a well-deserved Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree, which he graciously accepted.
And we will never forget his reaction when, at the end of his address and on behalf of the Class of 2008, I presented Tim with a special R-MC football jersey with his name on the back as well as a Yellow Jacket hat, which he promptly donned, while pumping his fists in the air shouting, "Go Yellow Jackets."
During Tim's address, he spoke of life changing events in our nation's history. He talked of politics and the upcoming election. However, for me his most memorable moments were when he spoke of his dad, a man he affectionately called "Big Russ." He generously credited his father with teaching him "the true lessons of life." It is poignant indeed that he passed away on Father's Day weekend, a holiday that he no doubt looked forward to sharing with his own son and father, and one that he helped make more special for millions of other fathers and children through his wonderful books, Big Russ and Me and Wisdom of Our Fathers. It was obvious that Tim put his own family first above all else, and as I pointed out in my introduction of him, Tim Russert definitely had his priorities straight.
We will certainly remember Tim Russert as one of the most important journalists of our time. But today, we first remember him as a beloved father and son, and as a friend of Randolph-Macon.
Robert R. LindgrenPresidentRandolph-Macon College