Today is my friend and colleague Julia Ashmun’s last day at Harvard — she is leaving the University, and a host of us are very sorry to see her go.
I attended a going away party thrown by her co-workers for her last evening, and many of them voiced tributes about Julia, citing her awesome knowledge of matters IT (and electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, and of any gadget you can name), her constant helpfulness, her bright smile at work each morning, always having the most positive and creative solution to problems, and (this was echoed by many): being the best mentor ever. For my part, I’ve found Julia to be a wonderful and brilliant colleague (she has helped me with so many projects at work — her online and technical expertise is incredible), as well as a true and trusworthy friend. She is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met: she has her pilot’s license, her scuba diving instructor certification, she captains her own boat, plays (and has coached) women’s hockey, and is at the same time extremely modest about her many achievements. She is someone who’s there when you need her, and the first person to offer help in an emergency or crisis. And after having worked in a variety of private sector and academic settings for many years, she has maintained her innate decency and humanity — no mean feat.
Julia is one-of-a-kind, and I’m equally proud to be her friend and sad to see her leave Harvard. We shall not see her like again, and more’s the pity. Au revoir, Julia — may the wind be always at your back, and may the sun shine warm upon your face.
More as it happens,