I met Tim in 1992. He was returning to John Carroll for
Reunion Weekend. I was a JCU junior, schlepping luggage for alumni.
I had wanted to meet him. We had a lot in common -- we were both from
Buffalo, our fathers were truck drivers and we both loved JCU. I fixed so
I was the one to pick him up at Cleveland Hopkins.
We chatted the whole way across town to campus.
He had the gift of blarney and knew how to tell a story.
He told me this one:
After John Carroll -- where he had been Student Union president, he was
back in Buffalo actually doing very little. He drove a taxi. He threw
bundles of newspapers from the back of distribution van. He stood in line
at 5 a.m. at Buffalo's art deco City Hall to try for subsitute teaching
I had had similar nonacademic experiences in my life -- parking cars at a
funeral home, working as a title-search clerk and painting to put away
money for school.
His boss and mentor Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., had told him,
Russert said, when Russert had pointed out that he was the only non-Ivy
Leaguer with blue-collar roots on the Senate staff: "What they know you
can learn. What you know from where you've been no one can teach them."
Russert didn't have to spell out what he was saying on that trip from the
airport, but the message was clear: You can compete with the best of them,
you just have to never forget the lessons you've learned from where you
Mark Schreiner '93
I had the pleasure of spending my four years at JCU in the
company of Tim Russert. He definitely was a campus leader and earned the
respect of both his peers and his teachers. Tim never forgot the members
of the class of '72. The last time I saw Tim was when he came to speak to
kick off the scholarship drive. A hotel employee had led another guest and
myself through a back way to the ballroom. This took us right through the
area where Tim was sitting and getting a bite to eat. As so many people
have said, Tim remembered me and was truly interested in what was happening in
May he rest in peace!
Betty Dabrowski '72
I never met him, but was always proud to see him on
television. He was one of us. Godspeed.
Bart Leonardi '94
Tim Russert was a great example for all of us. He will be
Brian Graf '97
Tim will never know how many lives he touched. I admired his
quest for the truth, his sense of family, and how he lived his catholic
faith. He will be sorely missed by millions.
Condolences to Tim's family. I met Tim during my senior
year, when he pledged our fraternity, The University Club, as a freshman
pledge. A few years ago, I was invited by JCU to attend an award ceremony
in Buffalo, where Tim was to receive a Buffalo Press Club award. Despite
the lapse of some 35 years, Tim fondly recalled our relationship and his
U-Club experience. As with scores of alums, I was always proud of Tim's
affiliation with JCU, and, in particular, with his public demonstration of
the values that he carried from home and JCU to the world. May God's
light shine upon him.
Michael T. DiPrima '69
He was a true Blue Streak and a huge source of pride for Carroll. You will
Rebecca Taylor '09
I am proud to be a part of Tim's JCU family. The world
really lost a great soul, journalist, and family-man yesterday. My deepest
sympathies to his family and friends.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there...
I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...
May God hold you in the palm of his hand Tim!!
Carol Bender '90
I was fortunate enough to have Tim Russert speak at my
graduation in 1997, and I was inspired by his words. I was always so
proud to tell people that Tim went to John Carroll! He was such a powerful
role model - I admire his ability to be successful, while keeping strong
Catholic values. When I moved to DC three years ago, I was in the airport
and saw Tim. I was so excited that I rushed up to him and went on and on
about being a John Carroll grad. When I was walking away, he said "Go
Blue Streaks!" I feel lucky to have had even this brief meeting with him.
I am so saddened by his passing - this is such a tremendous loss. He was
truly a good person, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family at
this difficult time.
Lauren O'Neil Rakvic '97
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Tim but
was at his last fund raiser in downtown Cleveland two years ago. During
his talk, he made everyone laugh, cry and certainly reflect on life. His
message spoke to the benefits of his education at John Carroll and every
word he spoke was how I felt about my life at this great University. He
reflected on the friendships, the faith, the sense of community and more
importantly, the empowerment that he received from a JCU education...how
insightful of him to be able to verbalize it so well! I got to know him
that night through his words, it was as if we were kindred spirits linked
through our education at this fine University. I looked for him at Reunion
last summer, thinking that if I did see him, I would tell him what a
powerful message he had bestowed on me that evening. To his family, thank
you for continuing to share him with so many people day in and day out. He
spread so much good through his broadcasts, his speeches, his books...his
life! His legacy will live on through so many things, but especially you.
This election year will not have the same spark without Tim and his
clipboard and Sunday morning...well it just won't be Sunday. My heart
breaks for you at this sad time. Know that I will continue to remember you
in my prayers...God bless all of the Russerts.
Kathleen Berry '77
My thoughts and prayers are with Tim and his family. He was
the most ethical political commentator I ever watched.
Andy Wright '02
I am truly saddened. I admired his integrity,
professionalism, and intelligence. I regret not putting forth more effort
to meet him.
Lauren Reid '07
He is exactly what John Carroll is all about, the very best.
For me Tim Russert and JCU are synonymous. God speed.
Tom Nowel '69
"Oh Captain, my captain our fearful trip is done..."
What a privilege it has been for those of us who have worked, played and
studied with TJ. While most of the world knows him as a well-deserved
celebrity political journalist, Beltway and Empire State political operative
or as a major network executive, we knew him as a friend, a drinking
buddy, an agent of social change and our touchstone during an exciting but
tumultuous time from 1968-1972. Like the parade of journalists on MSNBC,
we all have our favorite TJ stories. When John Carroll was going "coed,"
Tim and I were dorm reps and sponsored a bill for 24 hour "Open Dorms."
You can imagine how popular this idea was with the Jesuits and the alumni
fathers of many of the first full-time women at JCU. We had an early taste
of negotiation and compromise, ending up with visitation rights every
other Sunday from 2-4 in the afternoon--with the door open! Tim was a
down-to-earth guy who never forgot his friends and those who were a part
of his past. I remember him at one of our reunions, singing from the top
of his lungs in the dorm "john," ah--this was before camera phones and
YouTube---or I could have been a rich man. In the end, he was a good
human that strove to be the best in all parts of his life. Family, faith
and friends were always priorities to this very special man. Our hearts
and prayers go out to Maureen, Luke, "Big Russ," and the rest of the Russert
family. TJ look down and keep a close watch on all of us, somehow I
suspect that St. Peter must have needed a new Chief of Staff.
Bobby Longo '72
I am more proud than ever to share my alma matter with the
legacy of Tim Russert. On the special broadcasts, I am learning what an
amazing man he was. Both my father and I were touched by "Wisdom of our
Fathers." My deepest sympathies to his wife and son and his entire