I’m delighted, of course, to be taking over as Director of the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame in January 2017. The amazing resources, the huge faculty, the prestigious history: all this made the position so attractive that I couldn’t say no. But I hope I find there what I’ve found in such abundance at UT. No matter how much money you have, there is simply no replacement for visionary and engaged colleagues who are willing to work together to build something really good. Having twice the faculty that Marco has would not be worth it if those scholars were not willing to think really big, and take some daring risks. All the prestige in the world won’t make up for a collective failure of initiative. All of you—faculty, students, donors, friends—who have built Marco into an institution envied across the continent (including, by the way, in South Bend where there are many fans) have shown over and over again just the sort of collaborative, imaginative energy (graced by a certain joie de vivre) that is the only real lifeblood of a flourishing institution. I’ve been wondering, in fact, if it can be bottled. That way I could take some of it with me, just in case.
– Thomas Burman, Riggsby Director Emeritus