I think we’ve all had that one professor in our lives that played an intricate part in how we turned out in life. My professor was Dr. Larry Magrath. Chris and I attended a wonderful liberal arts college that stressed interdisciplinary study (IDS). Dr. Magrath is the embodiment of (IDS). He is the type of man who teaches everything from Intro Biology to World Thought Philosophy. It was not uncommon to see Dr. Magrath wearing the same clothing three days in a row. It took us a week to figure out that he wore the same things everyday, not because he didn’t do laundry, but because he just didn’t sleep for three days at a time. The man was like a bee, constantly buzzing around campus to various projects. This makes sense because Dr. Magrath’s biggest passion was Botany. I’ve never seen anyone so enraptured by the inner working of a common weed as Dr. Magrath could get while dissecting plants in Botany class. Dr. Magrath is the reason why I’m in research science today. His enthusiasm for all things science was contagious. He showed me that there was more to science then the possibilities of med-school.
Chris and I went to visit Dr. Magrath last night in the hospital. He’s very sick, so sick that he’s no longer lucid or responding to treatment. To say that the both of us are a little heartbroken over this is to put it mildly. He is greatly respected and loved and its just such a shame that this man who I always thought of as a giant perpetual motion machine has been reduced to a shell. He will never be forgotten.
Update - Saturday, February 24, 2007: Dr. Magrath passed away this morning.