Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tribute: Jack Falla

Boston University Professor Jack Falla passed away a week ago. He suffered a heart attack on September 14 while in Maine with his family. It is impossible for me to put in proper perspective the number of lives Professor Falla touched during his years as an author, PR professional and university professor.

A commenter on a new Facebook group honoring Falla put it best: Jack Falla taught everyone that for life it is worth getting up in the morning. He would teach a sports journalism class that met at 8 a.m. He meant it to wean out the non-committed.

Professor Falla taught me, as I enrolled in his publicity course when I was a sophomore at BU. The class didn't meet at 8. However, Professor Falla had absolutely no sympathy for those who showed up late. I remember one day when a few people came into class five minutes late, and Professor Falla reminded them to be on time. "Leave earlier," was his quick response when one tardy student noted that the T train was running behind. To this day, I can't stand it when I show up late for a meeting, and I owe that to Professor Falla.

Above all, Professor Falla had a love of life, his profession and his students. He made his class fun. Everyone talked about him and his ways of helping former students. Professor Falla's door was always open.

Professor Falla often made sports analogies while he taught. When he took attendance, he read from the "roster." Well, the roster that is Jack Falla's is several encyclopedia books in length, and it would be hard to find any on that list that don't remember him. And remember him fondly.

Professor Jack Falla was 62 years old.

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