Feb 4 Tom Hughes died

Tuesday February 4,

I learned early this  morning that my dissertation mentor and friend Thomas Parke Hughes died yesterday afternoon at age 91 (Altzheimer’s).  Lots of stories are coming to mind as I enter one of my life’s most sacred goodbyes.   I would never have found the history of technology  if Tom and I had not met my first day of graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.  I didn’t even know there was such a profession and I met him by accident when I got bumped from another seminar because it was full.  I sat in on his class because it looked interesting.   During that hour I met the person who would mentor me into an intellectual commitment that has defined my life.  He and Agatha, his wife, became close friends.  They are now both gone but the friendship endures.

So I am taking liberties with today’s post in honor of this beautiful man who challenged me to look at the history of technology as my calling.  Today, remembering, I’ve sifted stories about Tom for one that could serve as today’s post, a small memorial from me to him in the company of all the people who receive this list serve.  It matters to tell him thanks here at UDM, the place where I have lived most of the professional life he helped inspire.

john st sj


Here’s a two paragraph story about Tom and me taken from John M. Staudenmaier, sj  “Welcoming in a Lovely Worlld,” Leonardo da Vinci Medal Lecture Nov 4, 2011.

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