Cambridge Rindge & Latin School Teachers Honored by the CRLS Class of 2022

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2022 Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS) Faculty Distinction Awardees (left to right):
Ms. Jessica Hatlen (with award sponsor Friends of CRLS’s mascot Friendly the Falcon), Mr. Evan Milstein-Greengart, and
Dr. Benji Cohen. The fourth awardee, Mr. Ramazan Nigdelioglu, was not available for the photograph.

Four of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School’s most esteemed educators were honored with Faculty Distinction Awards at CRLS’s graduation on Thursday, June 9. Members of the Class of 2022 nominated the teachers for having notably positive influences over their high school years. CRLS Principal Damon Smith announced the recipients’ names, read their bios and wishes for the graduates, added quotations from students, and presented framed certificates to the teachers as they took the stage during the ceremony at Russell Field. 

In the weeks leading up to the presentation, CRLS deans collected nominations and comments from students, who praised the educators not only for their engaging teaching styles and regard for students’ academic growth, but also for their dedication, encouragement, and caring for students as individuals.

Ms. Jessica Hatlen has been a Special Educator at CRLS for five years and has been an educator for 16 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University (2002) and a master’s degree from Wagner College (2005). Students describe Ms. Hatlen as an “understanding,” “comforting,” and “really compassionate teacher who makes learning interesting” and “cares about your wellbeing.”

Mr. Evan Milstein-Greengart has taught English Language Arts at CRLS for five years and has been a teacher for seven. He has bachelors’ degrees in English and Psychology, a master’s degree in Secondary Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership. Students describe Mr. M-G as a “joyful” educator who “cares about each student as a whole person and puts effort into communication,” “will go out of his way to make sure you are doing your best,” and “is an angel disguised as an English teacher.”

Dr. Benji Cohen graduated from CRLS in 2007 and returned in 2018 to teach History. In the interim, he received degrees from Tufts University (2011) and the University of Virginia (2017). Students describe Dr. Cohen as “the most wonderful teacher, with an amazing, sharp sense of humor and a very welcoming classroom” who is “always willing to help students with any issue even if it is not related to his class,” “goes above and beyond to help you achieve,” and is “always in a good mood.”

Mr. Ramazan Nigdelioglu has taught Freshman Physics and AP Physics at CRLS since 2008. He is also the faculty advisor to the Muslim Cultural Club. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics, and two masters’ degrees, one in Business Administration, and another in School Leadership. As a Turkish native, he first came to Boston in 2002 as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher. Students describe Mr. N as an “incredibly supportive and kind” teacher whose “love of the subject and teaching show” in the way he “makes physics really fun to learn.”

Friends of CRLS has sponsored the Faculty Distinction Awards for 16 consecutive years, since 2007. This year’s quartet puts the total number of awardees at 64. See full list of awardees here>>.

Friends of CRLS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting opportunities for the public high school’s students, staff, and graduates. The Faculty Distinction Awards program is one of the organization’s five programs, with the most substantial being College Scholarships, through which Friends of CRLS is presenting $80,000 to members of the CRLS Class of 2022. For more information, please visit focrls.org.

Congratulations to Our 2022 Scholarship Awardees!

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Help CRLS Students Blossom to Their Full Potential! *** Donate Here ***

When I was choosing a college, I thought about how it will benefit me academically but also my contribution to the community. Growing up as a black child, I always knew that I wanted to go to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and become a greater black representative for others and the world. With moving out of state and knowing that HBCUs don’t get a lot of money for their students, my out of pocket cost would put me in distress. This scholarship will help so much financially for my college costs, a new chapter of my life, and becoming a better leader. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

Lisa, CRLS Class of ‘22,
Xavier University of Louisiana
Class of ’26, and FOCRLS awardee of both the Earl M. Gardner Scholarship and the Scholarship for Equity & Social Justice

Friends of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (FOCRLS) is presenting 57 scholarships totaling $81,750 in 2022. This is an increase of $10,000 over last year.

With one exception being awarded to a young musician who is a member of the CRLS Class of 2025, the scholarships will help CRLS grads (including three alumni receiving multi-year scholarship installments) pursue their goals of attaining college degrees or other post-secondary credentials.

The 2022 awardees — listed below — have demonstrated determination to overcome financial obstacles and other challenges as they focus on developing the knowledge and skills they need to bring about positive changes in the world. Having achieved in academics, extracurriculars, and community service while at CRLS, these students look forward to bright futures in professional fields including healthcare, science, research, technology, engineering, mathematics, media, music, education, law, advocacy, and environment.

All of these scholarships are made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who are investing in student success. (Sponsors are listed below.)



I am very thankful to donors in the Cambridge business community for awarding me this generous scholarship. Mathematics has captivated me from a young age and continues to do so to this day, so I am especially grateful to be recognized in this area of study. I look forward to continuing my studies in mathematics and computer science in college.

Pratyush, CRLS Class of 2022,
MIT Class of 2026, and
FOCRLS awardee of the “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community STEAM Scholarship for Mathematics


Congratulations to our 2022 Awardees and Thank You to Our Sponsors!

“100 by 100” Cambridge Community STEAM Scholarships
(Sponsored by members of the Cambridge business community and FOCRLS):
Md Sakib (Science)
Kaliab Tale (Technology)
Jake Laskaris (Engineering)
Eva Kaufman (Arts)
Pratyush Venkatakrishnan (Mathematics)

A Scholarship to Honor Drs. Finn and Espinosa
(Sponsored by Anonymous):
Horus Williams

Aurora M. (Ciccariello) Leydon Memorial Scholarship
(Sponsored by Jack Leydon & family):
Sharon Bosco

AVID Award
(sponsored by Gail Stein):
Laila Nunes

Calvin Hicks Memorial Award for the Study of Music
(Sponsored by family, friends, and colleagues of Calvin Hicks):
Demetrios Kotsopoulos (Class of ‘25)

Cambridge Day Sue Reinert Scholarship
(Sponsored by Marc Levy):
Esther Cull-Kahn

CambridgeSeven STEAM Scholarship
(Sponsored by CambridgeSeven):
Emie Gerard

Charlene Holmes Memorial Awards
(Sponsored by FOCRLS):
Abdiwahab Muhumed
Jahime Son
Lwam Mahari
Sarah Berhanu

Cheri Kamen Memorial Scholarship in the Humanities
(Sponsored by Ramie Targoff & Stephen Greenblatt):
Mikaëla Lavandero

Colonel & Mrs. Henry Bayard McCoy Memorial Scholarships
(Sponsored by New York Community Trust):
Bennett Gillig
Matthias Lamb
Nurial Vera-Degraff
Thomas Anthony Whelan

CRLS Core Values Scholarships
(Sponsored by FOCRLS):
Abyan Shire
Aya Boulouah
Keefer Glenshaw
Ymari Blackmon

Dr. Christopher Saheed Future Educators Scholarship
(Sponsored by friends, family, and colleagues of Dr. Christopher Saheed):
Isabella Lozada

Dr. David A. Link Scholarships for Health Professions
(Sponsored by friends, family, colleagues, and patients of Dr. David A. Link):
Aarmin Shaikh
Michael Herrick

Earl M. Gardner Scholarships
(Sponsored by the Gardner family):
Brandy Altidor
Lisa Jones

Elaine Schear “Voice of the First Generation” Scholarships for Creative Writing
(Sponsored by Elaine Schear and FOCRLS):
Tiaja Williams
Yuni Gerzon

Elizabeth Vernon Scholarship for Volunteerism & Community Service
(Sponsored by FOCRLS):
Kaliab Tale

Fresh Start Contracting Corp. Award for Carpentry
(Sponsored sponsored by Ben O’Sullivan Pierce and Nick Stamos, co-founders of Fresh Start Contracting Corp. and CRLS alumni):
Juan David Calixto Tenorio

Friends of CRLS First Scholars Awards
(Sponsored by FOCRLS):
Aaliya Shaikh
Emie Gerard
Lwam Mahari

Friends of CRLS First Scholars Awards Sponsored by Cambridge Trust Company
(Sponsored by Cambridge Trust Company):
Humaira Africawala
Marwa Dissa

“It Takes a Village” Multi-Year Scholarship
(Sponsored by FOCRLS):
Dachenie Ganthier

John D. Zagarella, Sr. Memorial Scholarships
(Sponsored by the Zagarella family):
Alem Abraham
Shanira Begum

Juliette Kayyem & David Barron Scholarship for Children of First Responders
(Sponsored by Juliette Kayyem & David Barron):
Anna Wendelin

Maria J. Tavares Memorial Scholarship
(Sponsored by Mary Tavares Sutula & family):
Yuni Gerzon

Mary Francis Monti Memorial Scholarship
(Sponsored by Neil Rosenburg, CHLS ’76 & Kathleen Rosenburg):
Fanuel Ayele

N Rahman Scholarship
(Sponsored by Naveed Rahman & Caroline Butler-Rahman):
Faria Amin

Patrick Ewing Scholarship
(Sponsored by Patrick Ewing):
Sherley Maurice

Richard S. Gilreath Memorial Scholarships for the CRLS Track & Cross Country Community
(Sponsored by Richard G. Gilreath):
Emma Randall-Jarrard
Matthias Lamb

Rose & Victor Rifkin Family Scholarship
(Sponsored by friends, family, and descendants of Rose & Victor Rifkin):
Aaliya Shaikh

Scholarships for Equity & Social Justice
(Sponsored by Eileen Taxe Levine & Irving Lee Levine):
Kaliab Tale
Lisa Jones

Tutoring Plus Scholarship
(Sponsored by Tutoring Plus):
Jeanny Fede

We wish our awardees much happiness and and many more achievements!

Awardees, for information on claiming your funds, please email info@focrls.org.

Contribute to our general scholarship fund where most needed>>

Involve your business in the “100 by 100”>>

Learn more about sponsoring or establishing a scholarship>>


For more information about FOCRLS, please visit focrls.org, email info@focrls.org, call 857-235-9290, or visit CRLS Room 2136.

Update: FOCRLS is Presenting $80K in Scholarships this Year!

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By Janis Navikas

Friends of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Inc. (FOCRLS), an independent nonprofit in its 15th year of broadening opportunities at the city’s public high school, is preparing to present scholarships totaling $80,000 in 2022. Hundreds of sponsors and donors − individuals, families, organizations, and businesses − fund the 56 scholarships FOCRLS is distributing to CRLS seniors and past graduates in support of their higher education.

New sponsors Ramie Targoff & Stephen Greenblatt recently established the Cheri Kamen Memorial Scholarship in the Humanities. Professor Targoff said, “This scholarship is in memory of my beloved mother, who studied American History, both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student before going on to become a lawyer. I wanted to honor her commitment to the study of the past by encouraging female students graduating from CRLS to pursue the humanities at the university level.”

Eileen Taxe Levine & Irving Lee Levine, also new sponsors, launched the Scholarship for Equity & Social Justice as a way, the Levines said, “to recognize the commitment and dedication of CRLS students who have been working towards equity and social justice in the Cambridge community. We want to honor the power of their voices, courageous actions, and hopefulness. We support and thank them as they enter this next chapter of their lives.”

Naveed Rahman & Caroline Butler-Rahman joined as scholarship sponsors this year to honor students of South Asian descent. Continuing scholarship sponsors include Patrick Ewing, Juliette Kayyem & David Barron, Jack Leydon & family, Neil B. Rosenburg, Elaine Schear, Gail Stein, Mary Tavares Sutula & family, Richard G. Gilreath, the Gardner family, and the Zagarella family. Collectively funding scholarships are family and friends of Rose & Victor Rifkin, Dr. Christopher Saheed, Dr. David A. Link, and Calvin Hicks.

Cambridge Day, CambridgeSeven Associates, Fresh Start Contracting, and Tutoring Plus are local organizations that partner with FOCRLS annually to provide scholarships, as is Cambridge Trust, which increased its sponsorship and then doubled up for two scholarships this year.

FOCRLS thanks all of its scholarship sponsors for their generosity and support for the students and graduates of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, as well as the Class of 2022 applicants for their inspirational determination and contributions to the community.

CRLS Class of 2022 awardees will take the stage of CRLS’s Fitzgerald Theater for the Scholarship Night ceremony on Thursday, May 5. FOCRLS members will present certificates to the approximately 50 awardees they selected, most of whom will later need to submit college enrollment verification before receiving their checks.

To learn more about Friends of CRLS’s scholarship program or establish a scholarship, please visit focrls.org or email scholarships@focrls.org. FOCRLS is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

Friends of CRLS Presenting $78K+ in Scholarships to CRLS Seniors and Grads

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Angell, CRLS Class of 2021 Friends of CRLS awardee of the Maria J. Tavares Memorial Scholarship, now enrolled at UMass Amherst (Photo by Janis Navikas)

Updated 2/16/22

Friends of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Inc. (FOCRLS) is preparing to present scholarships totaling $78,750 in 2022. Hundreds of donors and sponsors − individuals, families, organizations, and businesses − have contributed to the 53 scholarships FOCRLS is distributing to CRLS seniors and alumni in support of their higher education.

See our list of scholarships here.>>

This year FOCRLS is welcoming sponsors of two new scholarships. 

Ramie Targoff & Stephen Greenblatt recently established the Cheri Kamen Memorial Scholarship in the Humanities. Professor Targoff said, “This scholarship is in memory of my beloved mother, who studied American History, both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student before going on to become a lawyer. I wanted to honor her commitment to the study of the past by encouraging female students graduating from CRLS to pursue the humanities at the university level.” 

Eileen Taxe Levine & Irving Lee Levine recently established the Scholarship for Equity & Social Justice as a way, the Levines said, “to recognize the commitment and dedication of CRLS students who have been working towards equity and social justice in the Cambridge community. We want to honor the power of their voices, courageous actions, and hopefulness. We support and thank them as they enter this next chapter of their lives.”

Other sponsors of scholarships to be presented by FOCRLS in 2022 are Patrick Ewing, Juliette Kayyem & David Barron, Neil B. Rosenburg, Elaine Schear, the Leydon family, Mary Tavares Sutula & family, Naveed Rahman & Caroline Butler-Rahman, Debjani Banerji, Richard G. Gilreath, the Gardner family, the Zagarella family, and Gail Stein. Collectively funding scholarships are family members and friends of Rose & Victor Rifkin, Dr. Christopher Saheed, Dr. David A. Link, Calvin Hicks, and John Chiros.

In addition, Cambridge Day, CambridgeSeven Associates, Cambridge Trust, Fresh Start Contracting and Tutoring Plus are local organizations that annually fund scholarships.

Thank you all of our scholarship sponsors for their generosity and support for the students and graduates of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School.

To learn more about FOCRLS’s scholarship program or establish a scholarship, please visit focrls.org or email scholarships@focrls.org. FOCRLS is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

This Giving Tuesday, Help FOCRLS Address the Challenge of the Current Crisis

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For GivingTuesday, we invite you to join FOCRLS in rising to the challenge to help meet needs that this pandemic has created for many CRLS students and their families.

Your generous contribution will help FOCRLS to:

  • Provide supermarket vouchers for CRLS students and their families facing hunger through Falcon’s Market (Use this link or see below.)
     
  • Provide assistance to staff and faculty working to meet student needs
     
  • Provide funds for scholarships for FOCRLS seniors struggling to realize their academic dreams

Because our FOCRLS community is so generous, we know that your donation will mean that FOCRLS can work to address these critical challenges for our staff, faculty, students and their families.

or make your check payable to Friends of CRLS, write “Holiday FY21 Giving Tuesday” or “Falcon’s Market” on the memo line and mail to:

Friends of CRLS
P.O. Box 391541
Cambridge MA 02139

To get a sense of how your donation can make an impact, meet a few of our FOCRLS scholarship recipients below:

Thank you for choosing Friends of CRLS this GivingTuesday!

Please visit focrls.org to learn more about our programs and awardees, volunteering, donating, establishing a scholarship, or getting your business involved.

Join FOCRLS in rising to the challenge

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Dear Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School,

This year, in our current COVID reality, as we feel challenged to remember our blessings and look for hope, we can seek comfort and connection through community and find meaning by helping CRLS parents and children whose struggles are greater than ours.In the face of the COVID crisis, FOCRLS has worked to rise to the challenge.

To respond to the increased need for food assistance, FOCRLS was able to expand an existing partnership with the CRLS Family Liaison through a city grant to provide $100 Market Basket vouchers to 100 struggling families. In spite of having to cancel our Spring Bash because of the pandemic, we were still able to provide $55,000 in scholarships to 36 members of the CRLS Class of 2020; this was possible because of the incredible generosity of so many of you and our local corporate sponsors, particularly Google, Philips North America LLC, and CambridgeSeven. To help CRLS parents find a way to meet each other and connect, FOCRLS held a virtual get together in early November.

In the coming months, FOCRLS will seek new ways to support our faculty challenged by remote learning; provide opportunities for parents to connect; and continue to support CRLS families who are struggling because of the economic devastation that the pandemic has created. Above all, we must support our graduating seniors who will need financial assistance ─ and there will be more than ever before ─ to pursue their academic goals.

“As I pursue my degree I know that it will not be easy financially or academically, but with the help of this scholarship I was able to eliminate some of my financial struggles, which allows me to focus more on my school work.” ─ Ralph (pictured), our Class of 2020 Mary Frances Monti Memorial Scholarship awardee, now studying software engineering at George Washington University

To make all of this possible, we ask for your support. One of the best things that has emerged from this COVID crisis is the countless examples of acts of generosity. And we know that you will be providing one more example.

Donate online at focrls.org (automatic recurring monthly gifts are especially appreciated) or mail a check payable to Friends of CRLS, along with your contact information, to Friends of CRLS, P.O. Box 391541, Cambridge MA 02139.

Because of your past generosity, we know, with the need so VERY great this year, that we can count on you to provide more generously than ever!

Gratefully,

Jamie Sabino
President, FOCRLS Board of Directors

Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. FOCRLS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

To learn about our programs or find out more about donating, establishing a scholarship, involving your business, or volunteering, please visit focrls.org.

Join FOCRLS for our CRLS Parents Welcome Party on Tuesday, 11/10/2020

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FOCRLS CRLS Parents Welcome Party
Tuesday, November 10th
7:00-8:00 PM
Please R.S.V.P. with your name and your child’s grade to info@focrls.org
Zoom info to follow

Dear CRLS Parents and Caregivers,

In these times when it is so hard to connect, this will be your chance to meet other CRLS parents and share experiences, joys, and concerns.

We’ll open with a Welcome Session and then have class-by-class Breakout Rooms, giving you an opportunity to connect with others.

We look forward to seeing you (on our computer screens)!

FOCRLS Presents Our New Annual Report!

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We hope you’ll read, enjoy, and be inspired by the content that we’ve collected in our new annual report to remind you that by donating to Friends of CRLS you’re investing in the future – not just these students’ futures, but in the future for all of us.

Highlights:

  • Photos and quotations from many of our Class of 2020 scholarship awardees who are now starting their first year in college.  See their rosy faces and read their own words about their plans, how scholarships bring their goals closer, and their thanks for your support. 
     
  • Our appreciation of Dr. Christopher Saheed
     
  • Photos and bios from the 2020 Faculty Distinction Awardees
     
  • Gratitude to our Bash sponsors
     
  • Recognition of our scholarship sponsors, donors, and givers to CRLS
     
  • Acknowledgment of volunteers and helpful colleagues
     
  • Cameos by our mascot Friendly the Falcon and colorful graphics we assembled specifically for this report

Thanks to Salman, Our Youth from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program

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Thank You to Salman, our youth from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP). He’s been gathering interviews with our 2020 scholarship awardees and Bash event sponsors. Being able to share the impact that college scholarships make in students’ lives and some of the reasons sponsors decide to support Friends of CRLS’s programs will help us raise funds for future College Scholarships, Faculty Innovation Grants, and Student Travel Fellowships.

Here’s a bit about him:

“My name is Salman, and I am a rising junior at the Belmont Hill School. My favorite sport is soccer and I have been playing competitively for about 10 years now. I am from Cambridge and attended VLUS for middle school and went to the Haggerty School for elementary school. I am very excited to be working with Friends of CRLS this summer!”

Enjoy the rest of summer, Salman, and have a great junior year!

(Photo courtesy of Salman Yonis)

Remembering Christopher Saheed

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Dr. Christopher Saheed
(courtesy photo)

Friends of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (FOCRLS) would like to share with the community an appreciation of Christopher Saheed, who was a key collaborator in forming our organization. As the high school’s principal at the time, he provided invaluable advice and encouragement to Elaine Schear and Donna Spiegelman, the two CRLS parents who founded our non-profit in 2006 to support opportunities for students, graduates, and faculty. “Although we were brand new CRLS parents when we approached Dr. Saheed about starting a non-profit, he didn’t flinch. He even made sure FOCRLS had an office at the school,” said Dr. Schear. “We soon were offering grants to faculty for innovative projects – his idea for how to support a range of students and faculty and become visible at the school. This was Chris: purposeful, down-to-earth, supportive.” Since 2007, FOCRLS has awarded Faculty Innovation Grants, each up to $1,000, to 235 teachers, club advisers, counselors, librarians, social workers, and administrators for projects expanding the curriculum beyond the normal budget. 

Dr. Saheed, who held degrees from Tufts, Suffolk, and Harvard universities, retired from CRLS in 2011 and then moved to Florida.  He succumbed to pancreatic cancer on June 25, 2020, after a three-year battle.

When FOCRLS reached out to James Maloney, Chief Operating Officer of the District (Cambridge Public Schools), for a memory about Dr. Saheed, he responded, “I had the good fortune of working closely with Chris during his years as the principal of CRLS on the renovation of the high school. I was struck by his calm, knowledgeable and caring demeanor. All of the buildings on the campus today reflect his vision for the school. In many ways the high school campus is a living memorial to his passion for the students of Cambridge. He was a tremendous leader.”

In honor of his retirement and through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, FOCRLS established a scholarship named after Dr. Saheed.  Since 2012, FOCRLS has awarded fourteen of these $1,000 scholarships to ease college costs for academically and financially qualified CRLS seniors planning to pursue careers in the field of education. FOCRLS has expanded our scholarship offerings each year, with 38 college scholarships totaling $55,500 awarded to members of the CRLS Class of 2020 with a range of aspirations and backgrounds. 

Jesse Lowe, Class of 2020 awardee of the Dr. Christopher Saheed Future Educators Scholarship, said, “Dr. Saheed sounds like an incredible man, and reading about his life makes me even more grateful to be receiving an award in his name.” Jesse, whose parents are both also educators, will be starting at Clark University this fall.  

Around the time of his diagnosis, Dr. Saheed contributed $5,000 to the fund, becoming the sponsor of the annual scholarship from 2018 through 2022. Several of Dr. Saheed’s friends recently donated in his memory, some providing moving tributes.

Ed Hashek and John Jors said, “Christopher and his husband Stephen Nonack have been our best friends for a number of years. He will be truly missed – such a generous, intelligent, and caring person.”

Dr. Saheed shared 43 of his 67 years with Stephen Z. Nonack, who also studied at Tufts University ⎼ where the two met in 1973 before making their relationship permanent in 1977 ⎼ as well as Simmons University and UMass Boston, and built his career at the Boston Athenæum as an archivist and librarian.

“Dr. Saheed was a gentle, inspiring educator, and an exceptional human being,” said friend Patrick Ladden, an educator and museum director. “It took many months before he disclosed his own background and education achievements, as he mostly was enthusiastic to talk about CRLS, not himself.”

Dr. Saheed’s enthusiasm, generosity of spirit, and caring personality will be missed by numerous people, and even those who never had the pleasure of meeting him will continue to feel his influence.

To help carry on the Dr. Christopher Saheed Future Educators Scholarship, please visit this donation page>>.