Thursday, May 19, 2016
Remembering Richard Sweeney for His Kindness
Today I tried to get to work a little early as it was the day of the Chemistry Olympics at NJIT. When I got to the library I observed some commotion by the circulation staff, but I couldn't pay attention to it as I was in a hurry to get to the competition. I started out as usual but at 9:30 I got an email from Davida saying that Rich Sweeney was hit by a car as he was crossing the street after parking his car. He was hurt very badly and was taken to the hospital. About two hours later Cindy Wos from the chemical engineering department came in to say that he died from the injuries he sustained in the accident.
Just after lunch I returned to the library as the staff huddled together comforting each other. President Joel Bloom and Provost Fadi Deek came by to comfort the staff and brought a few people from the counseling center.
I must remember Richard Sweeney for the kindness he should the staff over the 20 years he was University Librarian. Just after he assumed the position he invited the entire library staff to his home for a barbeque. It always a tradition for him to take people out to lunch for their birthdays. Sometimes it would be in a group while other times he would take one person out. He was especially kind to me in September 1997 when he went out of his way to attend my father's funeral. On several occasions he went to funerals of family members of staff. He always liked to make small talk with me about the New York Mets.
He will be certainly be missed by the entire NJIT and library communities. My sincere condolences to his family.
To quote radio personality Harry Harrison “Every day should be unwrapped like a precious gift.”