Sarah Bryan ’17

Published June 6, 2017

The time that I had in Professor Wiesel’s class will be prized, and the memories I will hold fondly for the rest of my life. The interest and enthusiasm he brought to the classroom were splendid and the attention he gave to students truly inspirational. I didn’t know what to expect when I started the Winter Term course, but I received more than I bargained for. The warmth and consideration made it a pleasure to come into class. I share a special bond with each and every one of those students for the depth and personal stories that were shared. I was in awe of the care Professor Wiesel took to get to know and understand each student. We weren’t “just another student”; we were a part of the greater whole, treated as unique individuals.

My meeting with Elie Wiesel was the opposite of what I expected it to be. I had so many questions for him about his experiences and life, yet when I walked into the room, the first question he asked me was if I was happy. I was so surprised by the question and by the interest that I took a few seconds to formulate a reply. Such a candid and wholesome question was in the true character of Wiesel, always striving to learn more about others and understand them. I am rarely asked that question, and it has stuck with me as one of my favorite stories of Elie Wiesel if people ever ask me about him or the class. The selflessness and friendliness he exuded were exceptional. It’s never enough to put into words the depth of an entire life, but for the short three weeks that I knew him, I was in reverence. He was such a remarkable individual, and I’m sad to see him pass on, but his wisdom and memories will be treasured.

—Sarah Bryan ’17