Alan Merten, RIP

Alan Merten, former President of GMU, has died after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. I got to know Alan just a little when we visited China together in 2008. Our visit was part of GMU’s 1+2+1 program in which students in China earned their degree by doing 1 year at a partner university in China, 2 years at GMU and then a final year in China. We were touring the partner universities to participate in their graduation ceremonies. It was a great trip. I visiting the Great Wall, stayed in a Hutong in Beijing, and visited Kunming in Yunan province.

I also found it exhausting as we traveled from graduation ceremony to graduation ceremony. One night at the beginning of another such ceremony I said to Alan “I guess your job is to go to a lot of these events” and he turned to me beaming and full of energy and said “Oh yes, I love seeing the students so happy and their parents so proud. It’s the best part of my job.” And he meant every word. I’ve never forgotten that. He was a good university president.


That is a wonderful and inspiring story. Thank you.

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And with very good reason.

Great pic. I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like a good guy.

Very sorry to hear. Rest in peace.

That photo captures the hole every college president finds himself/herself in today; it will be a tall climb getting out.

Right now they're offering Chinese students the 2+0+2 program.

Can we PLEASE stop the trolling and the sarcasm? Somebody just died, and many people in GMU are grieving. On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, your comments are spreading so much toxicity here.

There are days when I wish that some moderator would come and clean up these stupid comments on MR.

Well said, Justin.

also agreed.

A fine tribute, Alex. Thank you for sharing. My condolences.

What do atheists have in mind when they use the expression "rest in peace"? Not meant to be provocative, just curious.

That they hope Roko's Basilisk won't resurrect the deceased person and torture it for not having create it.'s_basilisk
Many people, not all of them atheists, live their lives in fear Roko's Basilisk will hunt them beyond the grave.

Let not your heart be troubled. Read, and ponder on, John 3:16. Also, natural law itself provides us the ability to know in our hearts that God loves us (this is called something technical by theologians - if the theologians are Christian, the term is "anima naturaliter christiana". You can look it up).

That being said, I for one am for a higher rate of deletion of comments here. Sure it is work, but almost everything is work of one kind or another.
What are interns for, anyway - it is not like they are going to work for years and years. They will some day be former interns and, God bless their hearts, I hope they prosper.

He was a good guy. Was Mason prez when daughter Sasha was there. He was a friend of my late father's, which led to me having especially good relations with him. Sorry he has passed, although now we also have Oliver Williamson doing so as well.

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