John Gardner at Home

Tribute from Matthew Shapiro

Dear John,

I was deeply saddened to learn (just today, from a mutual acquaintance) of your illness. My thoughts are with you.

I should have done this long ago, but I wanted to take the opportunity to express my immense gratitude for all you did to set me on the academic path. I simply would not have persisted in becoming a professor had you not been so patient and encouraging as my supervisor. (I joined the law faculty at Hofstra University as a tenure-track professor last year.) And ever since I left Oxford, I've continued to take your own work as an inspiration and (ever-unattainable) model.

But my gratitude runs even deeper still. For had you not suggested that I stay on for the DPhil, I likely would not have met my wife. (We met only in my last year at Oxford). So it turns out that I owe a great share of both my professional and personal happiness to you.

These are debts I'll never be able to repay. The best I can do is to try to emulate the noble example you have set as a teacher, mentor, and scholar. And that is exactly what I shall try to do every day for the rest of my career.

Best to you always,

Matt Shapiro