Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Making you feet 10 feet tall

Larry was blunter than his trademark flat-top haircut. Spying a new freshman writer, he’d growl, “Who are you?” Once he compared a ‘Prince’ put out by our board to toilet paper.
If it was Larry’s manner that shook most of us at first, it was his values that held our attention and respect — and which have ultimately served all of us so well, particularly those who went on to careers in journalism.

Those values were simple: Excellence, responsibility, staying on top of the news. As much as he might push his crew of unruly undergraduates to wrap up the paper on time, Larry knew when deadlines were worth bending. If we didn’t jump on a late-night police-scanner call, Larry’s voice would sound out. “Aren’t you going to cover the news?”

But as much as Larry was typecast as curmudgeon and teacher, it was the role of mentor and friend he played best. He wanted to know about academics and how your thesis was coming. As years went by, the inquiries evolved into checking on spouse and kids. To know that someone with such high standards cared about you — well, it made you feel 10 feet tall. It still does.

— Tom Weber ’89, chairman emeritus

Larry, doing what he does best, with Tom Weber '89 and Ann Pao '89. (Photo courtesy Mudd Manuscript Library.)


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