Lalli still recuperating; Laurans steps in

Incoming Master of Jonathan Edwards College Richard Lalli MUS ’86 is on the road to recovery, his partner, Michael Rigsby MED ’88, said Sunday.

Lalli, who suffered a brain hemorrhage a month ago, was moved to a rehabilitation facility this past week after a lengthy stay in the intensive care unit of Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Rigsby, who is the medical director at Yale University Health Services and associate master-designate of JE, said Lalli faces at least an additional four to six weeks of intensive therapy and rehabilitation to relearn functions that were affected by the hemorrhage.

“Professor Lalli’s condition has continued to improve steadily,” Rigsby wrote in an e-mail. “We both look forward eagerly to the time when he can be at home and can eventually resume his responsibilities at Yale.”

Lalli was originally set to assume the mastership on January 1. But two weeks ago, University President Richard Levin appointed Penelope Laurans, an associate dean of Yale College, as acting JE master.

“I’ve been a JE fellow for a long time; I’m going to step in and make the college crackle and pop to the best of my ability,” Laurans said in an interview shortly after being appointed. “But my aspiration is not to be a master.”

Laurans may remain in the position for as long as the remainder of the academic year, although she said she is prepared to step down mid-semester should Lalli decide he is ready to take on the job.

As Laurans prepared to take up the position, Gary Haller bid farewell to students in December, ending his 12-year stint as the college’s master.

“We also leave knowing that Jonathan Edwards College is in the good hands of Penny Laurans, Richard Lalli and Michael Rigsby,” he and his wife wrote in a valedictory e-mail to JE students.

In the meantime, Lalli’s spirits remain bolstered by the outpouring of support from JE students and the Yale community, Rigsby said.

“Two large poster boards of get-well wishes from JE students have been in his hospital room since the day they were delivered,” Rigsby wrote. “These and many other messages of encouragement and support have made this difficult time significantly easier for both of us.”

Comments