Editor’s Note

Joseph A. Coroniti

Last year, Berklee, and Boston, lost a beloved professor, colleague, and friend: Henry Augustine Tate.

FUSION has collected contributions from the Berklee community as part of our celebration of Henry’s life.

Henry was a formidable yet infinitely gentle spirit, an erudite cosmopolitan with strong roots in rural Donegal, Ireland. We all know Henry’s passion for teaching. Even more impressive was how he made us all, colleagues as well as students, passionate about learning. How many of his students would hang on his words when Henry would begin with “I offer for your consideration . . . ”?

Although Henry passed in summer, W.H. Auden’s lines in memory of Henry’s beloved W.B. Yeats ring too true:

What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.
For all that, when we think of Henry, we think of light. You will find here many remembrances from our alumni. Thousands of students’ lives were changed by their time with this great spirit, this guiding light now dimmed. Yet, because of his gifts and his giving nature, this light still shines in our hearts. I know these are grand statements, often expressed at the passing of a friend. What I loved about Henry—what I love about Henry—is that they ring so true, to so many.

This collection of tributes to Henry allows us to re-Joyce (his favorite author) in the life and work of a professor of art, literature, and culture whose impact on students over thirty years remains incalculable. Thankfully, our collective expression here allows us to begin to calculate the lasting impact one teacher can make on generations of students.

It’s a truism that “we are all replaceable.” But when we reflect on the sparkle and the joy that was Henry, we realize there are rare exceptions. And Henry, we all agree, was exceptional.

Rest in Peace, Henry
Suaimhneas síoraí dó, Anrai
Joseph A. Coroniti