By now I am sure some of you may have heard the news that Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, The Right Reverend Desmond Tutu passed away earlier Sunday morning at 90.
Some of you probably do not know that he and I were close friends for nearly 30 years. He helped me countless times over the years and in doing so, was a silent benefactor of Salisbury University and the Bosserman Center.
I have so many fond stories of him that highlight his perfectly timed sense of humor, huge bear hugs and infectious laugh. Pappa Tutu, as some of us called him, welcomed Arun and several SU students to Cape Town, he introduced me to world leaders, brokered a few lecture connections and sprung a terrific surprise on his daughter Mphou Tutu when she came to SU to “visit one of my SU classes.”
Additionally, I have several videos of Pappa Tutu but I think the Center Board would agree that the one where he surprised Mphou in the Great Hall. It was by far the most memorable as it showed just how proud a pappa he could be. My only regret is that Mphou broke out in tears, and no one had any tissues.
I am glad my friend made it to Christmas.
Brian Polkinghorn, Ph.D.
Department of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution
Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
A United Nations University Regional Center of Expertise