Some people make quite an impression on you even if it’s after knowing them for a short time. I attended an alumni meeting in 2016 to discuss a possible Cornell event at the new museum of African-American history and culture in DC. I met a fellow alum, class of ’56 and he and I collaborated on how it could happen, he encouraged me to forge ahead. I was impressed at his tenacity. I remember him revealing to me as we walked to the metro that he was legally blind and we started to talk about his love for history.
He told me if the event ever happened that he would make sure that I received his collection of books on African-American history— fast forward a year later the event will occur next week. It got so large, the main campus relieved the local chapter from planning. I had fallen off the radar months ago once the event was set. Now I have come to find out he had passed away, because his widow contacted me to let me know that he had kept the books for me and they were still there with my name on them.
He had struck me as somebody who kept his word and was passionate about making things happen. But, I’d forgotten about the books and was humbled all over again at his generosity. He is a role model I’ll forever remember. I will forever be grateful for meeting Bob Day, Cornell class of 1956. May he Rest In Power.