Lalli, new JE master, sustains brain hemorrhage

The newly appointed master of Jonathan Edwards College, Richard Lalli MUS ’86, sustained a brain hemorrhage on Sunday, and his condition is unknown.

Lalli, who is scheduled to assume office Jan. 1, is recovering at Yale-New Haven Hospital, JE Dean Kyle Farley told students in an e-mail message this morning. “I hope you will keep Richard in your thoughts and prayers,” Farley wrote.

Music professor Richard Lalli, donning his new JE scarf upon being named master last winter, has been hospitalized after sustaining a brain hemorrhage.
Nick Bayless
Music professor Richard Lalli, donning his new JE scarf upon being named master last winter, has been hospitalized after sustaining a brain hemorrhage.

In a brief telephone interview this morning, JE Master Gary Haller said he was told Lalli had “done well through the night,” but he said he was given no other information on Lalli’s condition.

“I don’t know much about a prognosis because I don’t think they have one,” he added.

Lalli, an adjunct professor of music, broke barriers last winter when he became the first openly gay person to be named the master of one of Yale’s residential colleges. Lalli’s partner, Michael Rigsby MED ’88, is the medical director for Yale University Health Services.

“We are focused for now on Richard’s recovery,” Rigsby said in an e-mail message this afternoon. “I and his doctors are extremely optimistic. Nothing means more to Richard that his work as a teacher and soon-to-be master of JE, and we expect that he will tackle both with his usual energy and enthusiasm as soon as possible.”

“The love and support of so many wonderful students and colleagues has been tremendously gratifying,” Rigsby added.

In his e-mail message, Farley said Lalli would begin to serve as master as soon as he is able, but he did not elaborate. A hospital spokesman did not immediately respond to an inquiry about Lalli’s condition.


  • JE alum

    You are in our prayers, Prof. Lalli.

  • please

    If any of these folks were interested in "informed conversation" and interesting ideas, they might consider making time with a dusty old physics, math or chemistry prof. instead of some retarded future government appointee. One really should make a distinction between people interested in the natural world around them and those interested in (exploiting) the idiotic and artificial social constructions of their own utterly insignificant society. Its a discrace that we call this a university.

  • Anon

    M&C has been in the same tomb / house since 2001.

  • FreddieMac'76

    Secret societies are a great idea. I think they're a hoot! Isn't it obvious? I don't understand why there's a debate.

  • Not a JE alum

    You are also in our prayers, Prof. Lalli.

  • yalie

    absolutely the best professor ever.

  • DoodleLover

    "are you seriously suggesting that being (or acting like) a socialite is a form of abstract contemplation of human society--analagous to the contemplation of Nature?"

    No - I am suggesting that the programs offered by at least some societies are much more intellectually involved than you give credit. Debates are numerous and often extremely heated. Abstract contemplation of human society is a common feature of these debates. Contemplation of nature is more rare.

    "In the end it makes all the difference."

    By saying 'it makes no difference,' I was suggesting that a society membership, as hyped up as it is, is not essential to one's experience at Yale. Just because your classmate is in Bones and you are not, it doesn't mean that you can't have a frank and meaningful discussion with that person.

    "I find this repulsive."

    I'm sure you were a rebel hiding in a bathroom stall or in the depths of SML during tap night, just in case any of these repulsive organizations came looking for you.

    "The notion of a university as group of thinkers that find pleasure in their activities and not in academic advancement is of course dead, but to call this place any kind of 'seat of learning' is going just a bit too far."

    It's not a clear-cut dichotomy. At Yale (and else where), one can find pleasure in their activities AND in academic advancements. Plenty of Yalies - society members or otherwise - manage to do both.

    "Until then, I'll simply judge, as best I can, the kind of characters I see celebrated in such quarters and tally (in units of compassion, dedication and suffering) the service brought to the community by such 'Societies.'"

    It appears that you do not have a good understanding of what (some of) the societies actually do. If you find these organizations repulsive because they exclude others, that can be justified - but to accuse them of anti-intellectualism with no supporting evidence is rather irresponsible, at least from a scholastic perspective.

  • Calhoun '07

    You'll be in my prayers Professor Lalli. I look forward to hearing your beautiful voice again soon.

  • DC alum

    My hero. Hang in there.

  • Alum, Trumbul 08

    Our prayers are with you!!

  • Chickie

    Hope he pulls thru and resumes his role as Mr.Wonderful -i mean that.
    Is this the same as an Aneurism ?
    The great record producer named Quincy Jones suffered from one of these and is continuing to make excellent records and even a hit comedy show -Mad TV
    I once heard that high blood pressure brought these type of injuries on.
    That the vessel becomes like a tire tube with a soft expanding spot.
    I'm sure he'll be fine

  • Anonymous

    Get well soon, Prof Lalli

  • please

    "…tap people who have real passions and do important reaearch…"
    Just let me know when people like Steve Hawking, Ed Witten, John Nash, Andrew Wiles, Richard Dawkins, Kurt Goedel etc…etc…start entering or exiting these types of idiotic places. Better yet, email real thinkers and ask their opinions of these turbo-charged frats--I would love to hear the reply.
    Here's fun: solicit the opinion of John Nash (real thinker) discoverer of the fascinating Nash Equilibrium and A. Greenspan (idiot) who spent his life misapplying above theorem and rational choice theory in general (he did make good grades…but it was just econ :) ) I'm sure you'll find something funny.
    We could play that game all night…and the fellow who is 25 standard deviations smarter will always have the same predictable response…"I'm sorry, can you explain to me again why you want to be secret friends?"
    You don't understand my concerns, you really don't. I leave you with a simple prediction: In a hundred years we'll be 1)studying the ideas of people who find the very thought of a sectret society…well…like bedwetting: very embarassing after age 5.
    2)cleaning up some absurd mess caused by someone with "passion" and "extremely above average ablility" who "does important research"--like the Clintons or the Bushes or Greenspan or the inventor of the indispensible post-it note.

  • yale '08

    Thoughts and prayers and with you. You're amazing.

  • Marta Boratgis

    Richard, my loving thoughts and prayers are with you. You have a voice like an angel and the will to never allow ANYTHING to silence it. Olav and I are there for you!!

  • Barbara White Perry

    Richie, we have been dear friends since we were 5 years old. I know your strength, wisdom and humor… these traits will carry you through. I think of you always, Barbie-poo xoxo

  • Ken Storck

    Richard-Best of Luck in recovery-as I have told you before, I look forward to seeing you perform someday-- Barbara White Perry and I will be there