Yul Fagalar, sous chef in Catering, died Aug. 4, 2021, following a brief illness. He was a rare human being—a talented chef, a beloved colleague and a positive force on this campus and in the community.

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Groton, his culinary career spanned more than four decades, taking him to the Florida Keys, Nantucket and Block Island before returning him to New London county for stints at Noah’s in Stonington and Coastal Gourmet in Mystic. He joined Connecticut College in 2014 as an on-call cook in Catering and Dining, and was promoted five years later to catering sous chef. 

Few people were more committed to our students. Even as an on-call employee, he made it a point to attend Commencement every year to celebrate the seniors he had come to know through catering events and working late night shifts at Oasis. During the blizzard of 2015, with no buses running, he walked to the College from his home in New London because, as he said at the time, “somebody had to feed those kids.” And in March 2020, when the mayor of New London asked the College for volunteers to help school children access the meals they could not get in lockdown, he was one of the first to sign up. He believed it was the responsibility of every dining staff member to make a positive difference in the lives of students, and he lived out that conviction every day. In the process, he touched many people. 

Conn’s trustees benefited from his special talents during Board of Trustee weekends. A familiar presence at Saturday morning breakfasts, he was known for his exquisite made-to-order omelets and his ebullient spirit, which always set the tone for the day.  

He is survived by his son Jonathan; his daughter-in-law Erin; his four grandchildren and his one great granddaughter; as well as the many friends he left behind on campus and in the region.