Richard Lalli MUS ’86 e-mailed the students of Jonathan Edwards College yesterday afternoon to explain his decision to step down from his position as master of the college. Lalli sustained a brain hemorrhage last December, nine months after he was appointed master.

From: Richard Lalli <>

Date: Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Subject: Message to President Levin and the JE Community

To: President Levin and the JE Community <>

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

To President Levin and the J.E. community,

It is with great sadness that I request to be withdrawn from the path to becoming the next master of J.E. It has become clear that rehabilitation is indeed a lengthy and time-consuming process – one that I must pursue wholeheartedly in order to recover my health. I have had many opportunities during the past few months to observe the rigors and challenges of college life. Being a master is all-consuming – all day and all night at times. I do not currently have the stamina for such a demanding position. While I have every hope that I will continue to improve and to become stronger, it is not right to expect the J.E. community to wait longer.

My husband Michael Rigsby and I had the highest hopes for our term at J.E.; we now hope to participate in the college in any way that we might. We both appreciate the kindness and support shown to us by so many members of the community. We are especially grateful to Penelope Laurans, who has served as interim master since January. She has shown the greatest dedication and compassion to us as well as to the college. She has allowed us to hold onto our dream for a bit longer, but now it is time to let go. Thus we make an important decision: to relinquish our place in line.

We look forward to working with you in the future and wish you the very best.

Richard Lalli