Claire A. Stiles, Ph.D

Published August 16, 2017

When I think of Elie Wiesel, I remember while in his presence experiencing a sense of grace and compassion that seemed to flow from his very being. His quiet humility, deep wisdom and courage to speak the truth about the pain and suffering in our world were remarkable. Reading his book Night, while in the first-year general education class, was a highlight of the course and helped students to understand both the horrors of the Holocaust and the resilience of the human spirit.

In one of his speeches at the McArthur Gymnasium on campus sometime in the 1990s, Elie Wiesel claimed that fundamentalism of all kinds was the greatest danger facing humanity in the 21st century. How right he was! I often think of his words.

We at Eckerd College were privileged to know this man as a colleague and teacher of the past, and also as an inspiration for the work still needed. Elie Wiesel continues to have a profound impact on all of us through his writing and vision of a better world.

—Claire A. Stiles, Ph.D.
Human Development Professor Emerita, Eckerd College