Greetings! As you may have heard, our beloved David Gies will be retiring at the end of the current academic year. We have taken it upon ourselves to coordinate an homage to him as our colleague, mentor, and friend. In typical David style, he has requested that we not edit a festschrift. Instead he has suggested some sort of blog where current and former students and colleagues could post messages, photos, and memories of his long career. To that end, we have started to collect some things on this temporary WordPress site, where we plan to collect our materials for the project. Eventually we hope to migrate it to a more permanent site hosted by the University of Virginia.

We are writing to ask for your contribution to this collection. Please forward to us, by JANUARY 15, 2018, one or more of the following contributions to this gmail address:

1. Brief (approximately 500 words or less) essays about the impact that David has had on your career, life, or the profession.
2. Messages of congratulations and good wishes to David and Janna. These may be straight text, or you could get creative with image, text, audio or video.
3. Old photos, audio or video of David (and others, including yourself) that address his special qualities as an intellectual, educator, mentor, and colleague.
4. Some other sort of contribution you would like to make—a poem, short story, one-act play, interpretive dance (?), etc.

IN ADDITION, we would like for all contributors to participate in this questionnaire linked below, to help us to visualize David’s impact on his profession and his community:


IMPORTANT TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS. Please send us text in a Word file. Still images should be saved in JPEG format. Audio files should be in MP3 format, and videos in MP4 format. Both should be under 2 minutes in length, unless you have a compelling reason for something longer (for example, a recording of the best talk that David ever gave!). If you do something else creative (for example, maybe you want to create a greeting card on a PowerPoint slide), please save it as a JPEG image. WordPress also supports GIF format if you wish to send a moving image.

ONE FINAL NOTE OF GREAT IMPORTANCE. Our plan is to “give” this site to David in May when he retires. In the meantime, please keep this among us. Although David knows about the idea for the site, we want the actual product to be a secret until we are finished. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let either of us know.

Betsy Lewis and Jeff Bersett
Elizabeth Franklin Lewis
Professor of Spanish, University of Mary Washington

Jeffrey T. Bersett
Professor of Spanish and Film Studies, Westminster College

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