It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that Bro. Romard Barthel (CSC ’47), of the Order of the Holy Cross, passed away on Wed., 7 December at the age of 92. Bro. Romard taught physics and life at St. Edward’s University for generations of students.
I arrived at St. Edward’s as Dean of Natural Sciences in July 2014. It did not take long for the stories of Bro. Romard to begin making their way to me. I quickly began meeting some of the numerous alumni and current faculty members whose lives were forever changed by Bro. Romard’s kindness, dedication, attention, and inspirational model.
Bro. Romard significantly impacted the trajectory of the School of Natural Sciences and St. Edward’s University. In the history of an institution, there are but a precious few who truly earn the distinction of being recognized as a cultural icon, and they usually do so with the greatest modesty imaginable. I can assure you that in the case of Bro. Romard, that recognition as an icon of the Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s University is richly deserved..
His legacy will live on in the lives of those he touched, both directly and indirectly. (You can find a nice example in the Winter 2015 issue of the St. Edward’s Magazine.)
Of significance to today’s students, who did not have the honor of meeting him in person or being directly inspired by him, the Bro. Romard Barthel Scholarship and Research Fund was established by alumni in his honor to support summer research opportunities and scholarships for today’s Natural Sciences students. Through these students and the paths they forge on their own journeys in life, his impact will continue to be felt and honored.
Please remember Bro. Romard in your prayers. May his model and inspiration live on in those of us who benefit today from his years of servant leadership and dedication to the place he cherished, St. Edward’s University.
Please share your stories below.