The Fine Arts Center lost Michael Rice, a beloved retired teacher this past weekend. The following is an open letter from Dr. Roy Fluhrer, Director of the Fine Arts Center:
To Michael’s students, to Michael’s friends, and to all those who loved him —
This is one of those times when I wish I was more in touch with what is called “social media” but, as I am not, I have asked others to help me with this message. I am told that there are hundreds of posts about Michael’s passing, many seeking more information, others asking what they can do and if there is going to be a ...memorial concert for him, or a scholarship in his name. I don’t have a firm answer about a concert or a scholarship, the faculty here is considering what would be an appropriate way to honor his many years of teaching. Regarding his passing, I have heard many rumors, innuendos, and gossip, and wish to make it clear that I do not, and will not, honor any of it with any comment, I want to preserve “my” Michael, the one who, at his morning coffee in our lounge, always had a witty and tangential observation about the world, or the teacher who could create magic with young voices, or the colleague who was always there when you needed him, or the Michael at Awards Day with his limericks celebrating his graduating students. I will hang on to that, honor that, remember that, cherish that — all the rest is speculation.
I ask that you honor him with remembrances, stories, and events in which Michael made a difference in your lives, post them, and when we issue a special edition of our newsletter (the one thing I am certain that we will do), we will select some to be included for all of us to enjoy.
Immortality also rests in the memories of those who follow us, keep this special man alive there.