From Jennifer L. Holberg
As Jessica Bratt blogged on Monday, her father (and my colleague) Ken Bratt had his retirement reception that afternoon. I just want to note here that, contrary to Jessica’s prediction, no “roasting” occurred. A little ribbing, perhaps, but even that is probably too strong a term. To be honest, Ken has simply been far too upstanding a citizen at Calvin to allow anything beyond mild teasing. So we showed a powerpoint of him in ‘80s glasses and “dad” sweaters, made fun of his love of a daily ham sandwich, gently mocked his millions of slides.
And we celebrated his countless contributions to our college. Maybe it’s appropriate, then, that today (Tuesday when I’m writing this) is “Thank a Teacher Day.” Ken was never my instructor in the undergraduate classroom, but I did work with him for many years in the honors program as the associate director. And in that role, he did teach me a great deal about administering a program, about working with faculty and some of our brightest students, about understanding institutional history and politics. Most of all, he modeled dignity (the word “gravitas” was invented for him, I think) and good humor and generosity and servanthood in spades. His example has called us all to be better colleagues.
Actually, I’ve been very fortunate in the teachers in my life.