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I was devastated to hear that Professor [Marcantoine] Crespi had passed away. Every professor I had at Lafayette influenced my life in some way, but no one possessed that special brand of je ne sais quoi that the professor had. I had the privilege of attending the Dijon, France program led by Professor Crespi in spring 1995 and it was on that program that I can honestly say he changed my life.

Professor Crespi had a love for culture, people, and language that came through in every conversation. I specifically recall his love for the local farmers’ market in Dijon. Every trip that we made to the market was a delightful excursion. To see Professor Crespi’s face light up as he explained the local cuisine, art, and architecture that encompassed the market was to see a man suffused with a contagious joy.

These outings were so special because they came from the heart, not from a book. It was Professor Crespi being himself, strolling through life. Often these meetings at the market were by accident, yet within five minutes of purchasing a local delicacy with Professor Crespi, I’d know small but meaningful details like where it originated — and probably something about the farmer who sold it to me. Even now when I go food shopping, I find myself reminded of the lessons I learned from those trips with Professor Crespi.

The funny thing is that he did not realize how much he actually taught us. We had our official classes where he would teach us from his lesson plan, and even though class may have ended in his mind, he never stopped educating us. Professor Crespi had this worldliness about him. The life experiences that he shared after the so-called bell had rung in his mind often outweighed what we had done in class that day because he had a love for life and yearned to keep learning about it.

It truly saddens me to know that I will never see him again, and also that Lafayette has lost such a remarkable teacher and inspiration.

Alison Shipitofsky ’96

Categorized in: Academic News