Jonathan Edwards College Acting Master Penelope Laurans will remain in her position for the next academic year while JE’s incoming master, Richard Lalli MUS ’86, continues his recovery from a brain hemorrhage, University President Richard Levin announced Monday.
In an e-mail message to the JE community, Levin said that Lalli will return to the classroom this fall but has decided to put off assuming the mastership for an unspecified period of time because of the energy required for his recovery from the hemorrhage he sustained in December.
“My primary focus in the fall semester will be on teaching,” Lalli wrote in an e-mail message to the News this week, adding that he continues to follow a “rigorous” physical therapy regimen to build up strength on the left side of his body, which was significantly affected by the hemorrhage.
Laurans, an associate dean of Yale College and special assistant to the president, was named acting master in January, and Levin said she has agreed to serve as interim master for the 2009-’10 academic year.
“As the year goes on, [Lalli] will again reassess his recovery and his capacity to balance his teaching and his JE responsibilities, and we will together decide when he will be ready to begin his term as master,” Levin wrote.
In an e-mail message to the JE community in April, Lalli and his partner, Yale University Health Services Medical Director Michael Rigsby MED ’88, thanked students for their thoughtfulness and wrote that “the thought of coming to JE fills [us] with warmth and hope.”
And while JE students will have to wait a while longer for that to happen, music students hoping to take Lalli’s well-known course, “The Performance of Vocal Music,” are in luck. Lalli said he would teach the class this fall in addition to resuming his duties with the Yale Baroque Opera Project.
Levin described Lalli’s recovery as “remarkable” and said he has made significant progress since December.
“All who know him have been relieved and happy to see him around campus at many events, and to watch the progress he has made after such a serious blow,” Levin wrote. “We feel lifted by his courage and his example.”
In his message this week, Lalli expressed thanks for how the University has supported his recovery.
“I am tremendously grateful to President Levin for his thoughtful support and to Master Laurans for her friendship as well as her inspired leadership of JE,” he wrote.