Monday, February 25, 2008

Noah Langdale: RIP

The term "larger than life" gets thrown a lot in the popular vernacular, but this past weekend we lost such a figure, former GSU president Noah Langdale. Dr. Langdale was ending his tenure as GSU president when I was an undergraduate, but I had the chance to meet him a couple of times on campus, and as this AJC article notes, you knew you were in the presence of greatness.

"A one-time University of Alabama football star and Phi Beta Kappa graduate, the Valdosta native earned his law degree and master's in business administration from Harvard University. Mr. Langdale was an erudite man who could quote great thinkers from Spinoza to Walter Lippmann, or discuss such concepts as the equity of the universality as glibly as he could quote dialogue from Marx Brothers movies."

Great sense of humor, booming voice, and a brilliant mind. I don't think I have ever met someone who could literally command a room the way Dr. Langdale did.

In his 30 years as president, he turned Georgia State from a night business school into a major, urban university. Along with Dr. Carl Patton, who is stepping down as president in June, GSU has become the thriving research university it is today.

It's a sad day for GSU alumni, but I'm proud to have known him.

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