Office of the President
1B EXPOZITIEI Blvd., Sector 1, code 012101
Bucharest - Romania
Dear Friends of the Romanian-American University:
On behalf of the entire James Madison University community, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the students, faculty and staff of Romanian American University and to
all citizens of the world who were touched by the life of Ion Smedescu.
We are profoundly saddened at the loss of such an accomplished and visionary man. Having both served as president of JMU, we have had the privilege to know Ion not
only as an international colleague, but also as a valued partner, advisor and friend.
But beyond the personal connection he shared with those who knew him well, his impact on the field of higher education is felt at institutions throughout the world. His
leadership, scholarship and teaching enriched the lives of countless students and changed the face of international education.
As you probably know, RAU came into existence as one of thousands of private institutions after the upheavals of the late 1980s and change to a democratic form of
government. Sadly, most of those schools went by the wayside.
But RAU has thrived, and certainly much of the reason for RAU's success has been the leadership of President Smedescu.
What made the difference was his persistence in the face of opposition, his vision, his tenacity and his willingness to adjust for the greater good.
He understood the needs of a new order and built an educational institution that reflected the needs and the challenges a free society would encounter.
British writer T. H. Huxley once wrote, "The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge... The modern university looks
forward and is a factory of new knowledge."
President Smedescu ensured that RAU would become one of those factories of new knowledge - saving the best of the old but never limited by the past.
Part of his vision included partnerships with leading global institutions. JMU was fortunate enough to become one of those partners. The JMU - RAU relationship began in
1992, when a faculty member and graduate student visited RAU to give presentations on the prospects for post-communist society in Eastern Europe and the application of
computer technology for a modern university.
In the fall of 1992, another JMU professor taught a class at RAU, and in 1993, RAU sent two of its students to attend JMU for that academic year.
After that time, provisions were made under which RAU students could attend JMU at the in-state tuition rate. Since that time, RAU students have attended JMU every
year in both undergraduate and graduate programs.
Over the following years, RAU faculty members have visited the JMU campus annually.
The passing of Ion Smedescu has left a void at the institution he helped lead and in the hearts of all who knew him. But his legacy will live on, through the lives of the
thousands of students who have flourished at RAU and through the countless more who will in the future.
His life truly embodied the spirit of education. As American statesman Daniel Webster wrote two centuries ago: "If we work with marble, it will perish; if we work upon
brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and instill in them just principles, we are then engraving upon
them tablets which no time will efface, but will brighten and brighten to all eternity."
Linwood H. Rose
James Madison University
Ronald E. Carrier
James Madison University
© Universitatea Romano-Americana / Romanian-American University - Toate drepturile rezervate.