The news hit me like a freight train. I had just seen him 24 hours ago. We had one of our best classes yet, capped off with a run of his famous puns. His smile and wit brought groans but also immense appreciation.
We were talking about organizations and the culture around them. He had assigned homework due after the weekend. Time and time again his class provided me with actual insights and useful tidbits for when I lead. This leadership class was one which thrived on his knowledge but most importantly his passions for us and the subject.
I went and talked to the program head, Dr. Westbrook the moment I found out. He helped clear up some stuff, and I originally told myself to go check to see how he was doing. Maybe I needed it more than he did.
After our conversation, I got into my car, and just opened up. I haven’t had an intense cry of this caliber in probably a decade. So I called my dad. It did not seem fair. A 53 year old man, leaving behind a wife, a six year old daughter and sons aged eleven and thirteen? What kind of world is this?
A lot of strange things can happen in college, most of which lead to something good. The loss of one of my favorite professors, mid semester is not anything we can prepare for. And at times it is hard to find how this is a gift. What Drake does give us though, is Professors who lead lives worth celebrating and from which we can learn lessons to carry with us forever. It gives us friends who can put a comforting hand on our shoulder. It gives us other professors who open their doors to talk. It gives me a girlfriend who rushed home from her teaching position to comfort me and just be with me. In a time of utter darkness, Drake gives us hope. And it is with hope and blessings that I know Dr. Jack Fellers will be reunited with his Beloved Jesus.