Dear Professor Simon: “A profound legacy”

Bethany Harbison, Freelance Writer

It’s hard to believe I only had a one-semester, one-credit class with Professor Simon, because the impact he had on me was at least as significant as if I had studied under him for all four years. As a professor, he was deeply knowledgeable and engaging, and I absolutely owe him much of the confidence and well-preparedness with which I stepped into the early days of my career.

More than that, though, he was a larger-than-life human being and man of God. He was the embodiment of the phrase “generosity of spirit,” treating every student like he was our personal champion. When he gave you a compliment, he did so with such sincerity and specificity that no matter how much you doubted yourself, you believed him. How he had such a seemingly bottomless well of encouragement to share and to invest in everyone he met, I’ll never understand. I can only hope to emulate a fraction of his warmth, humility, hopefulness, integrity and genuine Christlikeness.

I’m so grateful to count myself among Professor Simon’s former students, and sorry for the future generations who will never have the privilege of meeting him. He leaves behind such a legacy, though, that I have to believe they’ll still get to experience his influence.

Thank you, Professor Simon, for your exemplary modeling of what it looks like to be a good and faithful servant.

– Biola journalism alumna, class of 2012

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