Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes, a longtime friend of the Nieman Foundation and host to decades of Nieman classes in his home on campus has died. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard, passed away on Feb. 28 from complications from a stroke.
It is with immense sadness that I write today to share the news of the passing of the Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University. Peter died last night from complications arising from a stroke.
Peter Gomes served Harvard with unparalleled dedication, wisdom, and creativity for more than four decades. He was an original, a teacher in the fullest sense—a scholar, a mentor, one of the great preachers of our generation, and a living symbol of courage and conviction. Through his work and wisdom, Peter has left an indelible mark on the institution he served faithfully over so many years.
In his time here, Professor Gomes witnessed the evolution of Harvard as a spiritual community. From the divisions of the 1960s, which he experienced firsthand as a student at the Divinity School, to today’s immense diversity of belief, Professor Gomes, through his generous spirit and moral vision, ministered to all, whatever their particular faith.
Peter was recognized as one of our nation’s most distinguished preachers, a best-selling author who participated in the inauguration of two United States presidents. To generations of Harvard students, he was a wise counselor and an admired teacher who presided at every Commencement. To many of his faculty colleagues, he was a cherished conversationalist and a steadfast advocate of Harvard’s best traditions. But to me, and I suspect to many others, Professor Gomes was first and foremost a trusted advisor and a true friend.
As we mourn a member of the Harvard family who was both an institutional icon and a living example of the richness of the human spirit, please join with me in commemorating his extraordinary life. He will be greatly missed.
For more information, please view the Harvard Gazette.