Please feel free to comment below to share your thoughts about Farish.
In my mind he was one of the best professors I came across while an undergraduate at Harvard. He always went way above and beyond role of a professor, and became a mentor and friend to me and many of my classmates. Yes, his lectures were pristine and well thought out, as he freehanded anatomy in his OEB 139: Evolution of the Vertebrates with tremendous ease in colored chalk, but the personal interest he took in all of his students’ well-being, and his ability to make everyone feel like a close, personal friend, made him the legend he will always be in my mind.
After taking his class, he continually reached out to former students. Before school ended in May of 2008, he asked for addresses from the class and said he would send us a postcard during his fossil adventures to the secluded Ellesmere Island. I remember clearly that day later that summer, when an Oyster Box postcard arrived from 79°50′N 78°00′W!
I had the honor of speaking with him this past June, after having graduated myself in 2008. Just as he had as an undergrad, he welcomed me with his hearty handshake and standard 3 piece-suit. He spoke lovingly about his family, upcoming trips he was planning through the Harvard Alumni association, and excitedly showed me pictures he received from another former student at her recent medical school white coat ceremony, after having written her a recommendation letter. I, too, was hoping to send him the pictures from my own ceremony this next fall as he has helped me do the same. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and he will be missed.
Matt Kramer, ’08