To the editor: It was with great sadness that I learned, yesterday, of the recent passing of William Alan Hodson. “Dr. WAH,” as he was affectionately nicknamed, was my professor and advisor while I was an undergraduate student at the former School for International Training here in Brattleboro.
With Alan’s passing, Vermont, the U.S., and indeed the world, have lost a most passionate advocate for proper stewardship of the environment that we could ever hope to have. He was the very embodiment of the values at the time, of the mission statement, of SIT and its parent The Experiment in International Living, and we are much the poorer without him with us. His office door and in fact his home’s front door were always open to students. The World Issues Program and the World Studies Program were anchored by his presence, his leadership. Even decades later, I can picture sitting in his office, talking about sawdust cookstoves and deforestation in Guatemala, a shortwave radio by the window, and a copper wire antenna extending up to the roof. He was my favorite professor, and a good and valued friend, too.
Though he was Dr. William Alan Hodson, to his students he was always “Alan,” and he is sorely missed. As the writer Richard Bach once noted, who we are is an accumulation of all those who we meet in life. There is a piece of Alan in me, and countless others. That’s a mighty fine legacy, I reckon.
Brattleboro, July 16