Just three weeks into the semester, Pierson College Dean Amerigo Fabbri has announced that he will step down from his post at the end of the academic year.
Fabbri, who has been in the position since 2005, is also a lecturer in Humanities and Art History. In an email to the Pierson community just after 1 a.m. Sunday night, he wrote that with his wife, Pierson Associate Dean Cristina Teuscher Fabbri, expecting a baby girl in just a few weeks, he has begun to embrace the idea that it is time for him to “descend from the upper deck of this glorious Flagship” — referring to Pierson College. Students and colleagues said that they will most miss Fabbri’s advice, eloquence and humor — particularly as communicated through his eccentric emails, which have become something of a trademark.
“On our magical Pierson ship, over the course of the past decade, I have traveled to every corner of this Mare Yalensis. I have seen things that no tongue can retell, and have known marvels [that] left me in awe,” Fabbri wrote in the email. “Now, after clamorous and picturesque voyages amid subliminal desires and dreams of younger generations, my flaming ship is headed towards its harbor, at the pace of melancholy.”
Fabbri told the News that he is not yet sure if he will stay at Yale when he departs the deanship, noting that, while he will miss the vibrancy of life in Pierson, he looks forward to spending time with his growing family.
Morse College Dean Joel Silverman said Fabbri has been a superb colleague, always present with supportive words and “an exquisitely-prepared” cup of espresso. Pierson College head Stephen Davis noted that Fabbri has been an indispensable colleague during their years working together in the college.
“I am simply thankful to have had the opportunity to serve with him, and I am flooded with warm memories of many meals and conversations shared. I also frankly don’t know what I will do without my intrepid [Pierson Inferno] co-conspirator: Last year, he and I were Angry Birds, and we used a giant slingshot to fling ourselves in the direction of unsuspecting students,” Davis said. “But what’s most important to me right now is that we have this year to celebrate and appreciate both his many years of service to the community and what a privilege it is to do the work we do together in Pierson.”
Pierson students said they appreciate Fabbri’s willingness to listen to both academic issues and personal concerns. He always has an open door, Pierson Aide Megan Ruan ’17 said.
Dasia Moore ’18 credited Fabbri with helping create a strong Pierson community. She added that she hopes Fabbri’s successor will continue to support the college’s culture of comfort and openness.
“It really comes down to having a personality that is empathetic and understanding and getting along with students while retaining authority,” Andre Manuel ’16 said. “His poeticizing is the only thing I can imagine making lists of deadlines more interesting and less mundane.”
Three students said Fabbri also tended to be strict and inflexible with his students at times, albeit with good intentions.
“I think he felt a great deal of responsibility to take care of us. He took the residential college ideal very seriously, and I kind of did respect his inflexibility,” Jared Fellows ’17 said.
In addition, many Piersonites remarked on Fabbri’s characteristically lyrical emails, which they said made generic messages and lists feel engaging. Moore even said she and her suitemates have been compiling a favorite list of “Fabbri-isms,” collected from his emails.
Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway said a search for Fabbri’s replacement will likely begin in about a month.