We at Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) honor and offer tribute to L. Lee Knefelkamp, whose sudden passing last week we grieve. She extended to friends, to the whole of higher education, and to the multitude of her students and colleagues offerings of wisdom, insight, humility, leadership, humor and practiced integrity. As recipients, we in turn treasured her. She contributed to all of us, and brought joy in doing so.
Along with her multiple contributions to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Lee was for the last three years part of a team of BTtoP project consultants and staff. She designed, participated in, and led sessions at our conferences; coordinated research collaboratives; and authored materials for BTtoP publications. She was uniquely positioned and prepared to accomplish with others the Project's 2016 hugely successful national conference “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being,” and the subsequent special issue of Diversity and Democracy on the same theme. Her contributions were always thoughtful, astute, and appreciated.
Lee’s voice was and is central to our mission. She would frequently remind us in the midst of intense conversation and planning decisions that she grew up on a farm—fed the cows and pigs, rode the horses, cleaned the stalls, and knew what it meant to “clear the air.” She would then proceed to offer a collaborative, no-nonsense, wise suggestion. We will miss her warmth, humor, passion, and wisdom.
We take solace with the colleagues with whom Lee contributed to the work of Bringing Theory to Practice. This weekend, as news of Lee’s passing spread, many sent messages of remembrance:
“Lee was easily among the very best, and will be missed dearly by loving students, colleagues, and friends.”
“She was one of the most wonderful and rarest of good persons, and always was a special person with whom to sit around the table.”
“’Love’ is the right word for a person I will never forget.”
With much respect for our community, for the work in which we are joined, and for the receipt of the gifts Lee has shared,
Don, Caitlin, Mercedes, and David