Leo I. Higdon Remarks



A Treasure for the Ages
— Leo I. Higdon, Jr., President of the College

On behalf of the entire Connecticut College community, I want to add my welcome this afternoon. I’m glad you could be with us today in this beautiful campus chapel to celebrate the life and many gifts of our dear Professor Emeritus Charles Chu.

As many of you know, Professor Chu officially retired more than 20 years before my arrival at Connecticut College. What you may not know is that on my first official visit to the College as its new President, in the spring of 2006, Charles was one of the first people I met. He happened to be on campus that morning – as he often was – and he welcomed me warmly.

Professor Chu is a Connecticut College icon, and his greetings and well wishes that spring day made me feel like a part of this community. I enjoyed the pleasure of Professor Chu’s company many times since that first day.
The Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room here at the College is home to the spectacular Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection. This room and collection are a lasting legacy for generations of students and local residents who come to study or to share in the tranquility of the elegant retreat.

But Charles Chu’s impact on the College community extends well beyond the space which bears his name. He truly embodies so much of the essence of Connecticut College – academic excellence, personal relationships that help guide students’ intellectual and co-curricular development, and an appreciation for and involvement in the city of New London.

We feel a strong sense of pride and gratitude for all that Charles Chu accomplished on behalf of the College, and so we have come to consider Charles Chu to be a Connecticut College treasure. But, today as we honor his memory, we concede that Charles Chu is much more than a Connecticut College treasure – he is a treasure for the ages.

* * * * *