Written by English Professor Emeritus Mark Vinz for Roland Dille’s funeral

Sorting through old files today I came across
a letter dated over thirty years ago, an apology
you didn’t need to make but always did, for those
who were slow to understand, who made demands,
who had yet to know your door was always open,
even for those things that none of us could change.

What we learned was that you always listened,
wore the mantle of responsibility with grace,
struggling with the way that fairness might mean
hurting those who meant the most to you.

What you did was a set a true course marked by
faith and eloquence, the example given by
your life, never afraid of bullies or the crowd.
What you gave us, finally, was a hope that what
we did would make a certain difference for
our students, just as the one you made for us.