Dear Mr. Gies

By Andrea Smith

January 10, 2018

Dear Mr. Gies,

As you now know, Betsy Lewis and Jeff Bersett sent an email to your friends and colleagues far and wide, requesting content for an homage to you and your career. After deliberating over what to write, about how to express what you have done for me and what you have meant to me as a scholar and a teacher and a human being, I find myself speechless. Humor me, then, while I resort to what other academics do in this case: I will quote myself.

I said it best in the single sentence addressed to you in the acknowledgments of my dissertation: “David Gies’ generosity with his time, expertise, and resources can be neither described nor repaid; all I can say is thank you.”

I said it more eloquently and specifically in the two letters below. Since then—the second letter is dated 2014—you have continued to encourage and mentor me. You have helped me with NEH grant proposals, you have written me even more recommendations, you have eulogized a beloved mentor (Donald Shaw) in a way that helped me grieve, you have publicized my scholarship when I didn’t have the confidence to do so myself. Truly, there is too much to say, and attempting to express it all seems ludicrous at this point.

Congratulations on a rich, distinguished, and meaningful career. And, one more time, thank you.

Con mucho cariño,



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