Here I am, several years and a world away from Mr. Harris' passing, but I still cannot but help to be reminded by his charm and grace very often. I had the unbelievably great fortune to spend four semesters with Greg, two as his student my sophomore year, and two as his teaching assistant my senior year.
I can't overstate the impact that he had on me as a young man; he changed my life in so many ways... At the core of every lesson I ever learned from him was simply how to be a successful human being, one who cares deeply for others and lives each day to its fullest. He had an unsurpassed gift for bringing art to life, and it seems that I am just one of many who took profound inspiration from him.
How I wish that I could come and visit him in his office for a lunchtime chat again, just like old times. The last time I tried, he was on leave attending his brother's funeral.
This past month was my first as an English teacher here in rural China. I will spend two years teaching here, trying to impart hope and a love for learning in a community so very different from New Trier.
I wouldn't be here without Mr. Harris.
Best wishes to all,
It's been a year now, and you still continue to be one of the greatest sources of inspiration for me. There are conversations I wish I could have with you. I wish I could have told you how much your unwavering witty attitude towards life, even amidst some pretty tough circumstances, encouraged me to adopt a similar attitude.
As a double-major in a great books philosophy program and english, I'm reading a lot of books :)
Dear Mr. Harris:
It’s been a year. I miss you. Reading Birches still hurts, and feeling a tingle in my spine is still bittersweet. But…it happens, Mr. Harris. I’ve done it. I’ve been confronted by serious works of art without you and been able to evaluate, and love them. Alone. And I know that it’s what you would have wanted, but I can’t help but still selfishly long for your guidance and support.
I wish I could come visit you and tell you how much I love college. I wish I could have actually told you where I am at college. That I’m re-reading Faulkner. That I’ve discovered new poets. That I think of you nearly every day when I use Frost and Nabokov and your own considerable knowledge. I…Mr. Harris, I still feel indebted to you. I always will. How can I even begin to measure the worth of the gifts you gave to me? How can I explain that when you died, I mourned for a mentor even though I never once saw you outside the walls of New Trier? I can’t. You gave me art; you gave me the tools and the true, true desire to expand and improve myself. So, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I only hope that I can continue to honor your teachings, and that I can come to a point where feeling that telltale tingle in my spine is only a feeling of pleasure and no longer tinged with grief, like you would have wanted.
God loves you "Greg Harris" and I do too! I was googling My Greg Harris, and my spirit brought me to you. I was searching for my soul mate whom we have always touched each other every 10 years but the chain is now broken. I know that you are not My Greg Harris and I will continue to goggle, etc to find him but I send my blessings to your family and especially your friends! (And we know that you can count them on all of your fingers) I so miss my friend "Greg Harris, Clyde St, Chicago IL aka "chi-town"! Thank you!
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Charlotte NC 28299-5662
I just heard about Mr. Harris' passing at our 20th Hinsdale Central high school reunion. I am so sorry for your loss, and so sorry I just heard the news. Mr. Harris believed in me, and fought for me in a way that was quite profound for a young, insecure high school senior. He was one of the sponsors for the commencement speakers and his support allowed me to fulfill what I still consider one of my greatest accomplishments. What a guy. I thank God he taught me. I hope his family and loved ones can take comfort in his truly inspiring legacy. Go Hoosiers!
I was one of Mr. Harris’s film studies students at New Trier nearly a decade ago. His course inspired me to continue to learn about film in college and beyond. His passion in the classroom, and his deep respect for his students was clear to us, and it inspired us to want to learn more, and be better.
One of the greatest impacts that his course had on me was when we studied the film Frankenstein, and then Gods and Monsters. It was my first academic exposure to really anything pertaining to gender and sexuality, and from that day forward, I began to understand so much of what I read and saw, through a different lens that he alone brought into focus. He was a rare and truly gifted educator. I consider myself so fortunate to have learned from him, and will treasure the opportunity always. You, and the Harris family are in my thoughts.
Mr. Harris inspired me to seriously consider teaching myself. He once told me that there is art in teaching. He was the exemplar of this. I know that his students and I will always use the skills he helped us develop and that we will always remember his passion for life as a great example of how to live. He seemed to love everything he did and unfortunately this is rare. He taught his students that it does not need to be.
Jay and Mr. Harris's family continue to be in my prayers.
I so loved Film Studies with Mr. Harris, and I became his TA through the SILC program my senior year at New Trier. He introduced me to some of my now-favorite films, taught me the importance of thoughtful analysis, and shared with me his great love of movies.
It was clear he enjoyed what he was doing immensely, and he got us to enjoy it too. I remember when we finished "Rear Window" in class. We had spent days talking about themes of voyeurism and violence, but when the movie ended, Mr. Harris flipped the lights on and grinned, "Isn't that fun?"
He showed us a new way to look at movies-- a new way to define art and literature. Mr. Harris also inspired me personally to pursue what I love. Last year, I finished my undergrad degree in Film and Television, and I've moved out to Los Angeles to get into the industry. As I go forward, I will never lose sight of the value of good storytelling, and I have Mr. Harris to thank for that.
He was truly a wonderful man, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
You and Greg are a treasured memory from 1988 and the NAMES Project. Your passion and dedication to each other, your careers, your friends, and the display impressed me then and have inspired me since.
I had wondered if that was "my" Greg Harris teaching at New Trier. How fortunate were the students and faculty of my alma mater to have him there.
I ache for you, his family, colleagues and students. We were blessed in so many ways by having Greg in our lives. May the remembered warmth of his love and companionship offer you comfort against the chill of your loss.
Were were very saddened to hear of Greg's death. You and he have made wonderful, positive impact on many students and families. Our deepest condolences to you, your family, and Greg's family on your loss.
Dear Jay and Harris Family, My name is Fred Weintraub, the executive producer of Me-TV Sports. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Harris for a piece we did on him during the New Trier Evanston High School Basketball game this season. I have done hundreds of interviews...and I knew pretty early on that Mr. Harris was the kind of teacher that we should be featuring each week. He cared about his students and his teachers. The world saw Mr. Harris during my live broadcast and the interview lives on the WCIU website under Game of the Week.
I want you to know that Mr. Harris will be the one person I will remember as we do these tv segments each week. I hope you will find solace in knowing that he had the ability to impact viewers that he never really knew. You only interview people like Mr. Harris maybe once or twice in a life time. Thank you for sharing him with all of us. I wish you peace during this painful time. Fred Weintraub/Executive Producer Me-TV.
If Mr. Harris ever felt anything other than delight in his work and life, he never showed it. His consistent, decorous exuberance was a great lesson in living to be generous and affirming to others in our daily endeavours and encounters. His excitement in sharing the great jewels of English literature made their sparkle brighter. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Our sincerest condolences to you and to Greg's family on your loss of him. We remember Greg as a delightful patient. You all now have a special angel looking down on you. We are remembering you, Greg and your families in our thoughts and prayers. With Deep Sympathy,
To Jay and Greg's family:
Heaven is better off, for sure. Those who have gone before us now have the pleasure of Greg's company --his compassion, wit and intelligence. How sad for the rest of us, though --the students who remember him as the "best teacher ever" and those students who will never have the gift of his direct instruction. And how sad for you to have lost such a precious man. My prayers are with you.
Molly (Baldwin) Hughes
Student of The Best Teacher Ever, Hinsdale Central Class of 1988
We climbed together through the early morning—four of a kind, two pairs.
Blue skies, dirt and granite trail, boots scraping and crunching
our voices muted by the pines, the river, the altitude.
I admired my friends: not the consummate teachers, or the scholars, or the treasured colleagues--
All of those things of course, but this morning, just friends, walking in the mountains.
We stopped at the Loch to catch our breath.
The cirque of surrounding mountains preened in the lake waters.
We shared our snacks with chipmunks and Nutcrackers.
“Where does the water come from?”
“Up there. Would you like to see?”
Around the Loch, into the marsh, a breathless climb
to the waterfall spraying and tumbling out of Lake Of Glass.
“How?” they asked.
“Up through the waterfall. Follow us.”
And they did.
On top we chose a huge boulder and rested once more…happy, content, satisfied.
Greg took a book from his pack.
Under the sun, sitting in the wind
he read to us.
We nodded, gazed out to the valley below, rubbed our fingers on rough granite, sat quietly.
He read to us.
When he was finished we thanked him,
climbed down through the waterfall and returned home.
Last night I stepped out into the deep blue of a mountain night.
The moon was rising full between the pines. I lifted my face and spoke,
“You are there now, my friend. A part of the moon, a part of eternity.
We love you still…and always.”
Bonnie Beach, Feb. 18, 2009
In October 2008: Running through the airport, late for a flight. It's delayed. I reach in my bag for Brideshead Revisited for a quick read, but pull out my Blackberry. I look up "Greg Harris" on google, and write to someone at New Trier: "If you're the Greg Harris who taught me English, just a quick note from this middle-aged man who 27 years later thanks you for imparting your love of this book... and for showing me the life of words... " Greg wrote a powerful email back, linking to a Waugh-related essay, and we agree to meet the next time he visits New York. So to Greg: until next time. And to Jay: a prayer and a prayer and rememberences for Greg when I read something of beauty.
I graduated from Mr. Harris' infamous Senior Writing Seminar class in 2006. I still have not had a teacher that has been so enthusiastic, loving, inspiring, and kind as Mr. Harris. The whole class became extremely close that year under Mr. Harris' teachings. We are all still close friends and will keep the memories and teachings of Mr. Harris alive.
Greg and I grew up together on the same block in our hometown of Plainfield, Indiana. Even as a child, he was always caring and giving, and even at a young age, I knew that he would touch the lives of many in a positive way. I always admired him for his commitment to his beliefs for what was right and good. All of us who knew him have been truly blessed, and I pray that Jay and his family will find comfort in his memory and the love he shared with us all.
Upon my first encounter with Greg, several years ago, I was immediately impressed with his wit, his warmth, and his sparkling intelligence. His generosity of spirit and his deep respect for others were also aspects of Greg that I always admired and will always remember about him. It is clear from reading earlier entries in this guestbook that he was deeply loved and respected by his students. Greg certainly made a difference in lives of his students and his work will have a lasting impact on them for years to come!
I can't yet imagine Jay without Greg, but, after so many years together, I suspect Jay will always be able to imagine what Greg would have thought or said about almost anything. I want to offer my sympathies to Jay and to the other members of Greg's family. May your memories of Greg bring you comfort and ease your grief.
Greg was an outstanding human being, teacher, and leader. Many of us were looking to his leadership in the next few years as New Trier accommodates so many changes. He was warm, loving, loyal, sometimes hilarious, always ready to laugh, and his capacity to negotiate among strong factions was remarkable. I can imagine how much his family and his partner will miss his extraordinary character.
I had the honor of being Mr. Harris's student my sophomore year at New Trier High School in 1997. His passion for the literature and his profession exuded an infectious aura- you couldn't help but sincerely care for the topic at hand and to be the best student you could be in his class. His passing is a terrible loss for us as a community and he will not be forgotten.
As a teacher, Greg was a role model and an inspiration. As a human being, he was first class. My deepest condolences to Jay and the Harris family.
I was so sad to hear of the death of Mr. Harris. He was one of my favorite teachers at Hinsdale Central in the late 80s. I learned a lot from him and still remember a note he wrote on one of my papers. You could tell he was a very caring teacher and person.
Greg was my English teacher of at Hinsdale Central in 1992. He interacted with countless people and somehow managed to 'see' each of us. I clearly recall feeling important around him. He was profound and yet could laugh at life too. I have bragged about him often over the years, and I'm so saddened that I didn't tell him what a huge difference he made in my life. Jay, all of my love for Greg is now showered onto you. Thank you for loving and supporting him. I have no doubt that you fostered much of his greatness. My love and sympathy is with you and his family at the time of great loss!
I graduated from Hinsdale Central in 1992, and Mr. Harris was my English teacher and Forensics coach during my years there. He had an incredible warmth, humor, and generosity of spirit with his students. He pushed us and nurtured us, and he encouraged us to be rigorous and thoughtful scholars in the classroom and in life. I have since become a teacher myself, and more recently, a teacher educator. Whenever I am asked to reflect on good teachers that I have had, Mr. Harris is always the first one who comes to mind. I will do my best to cultivate his amazing qualities in my own teaching, and the teaching of others, as I remember him. I only wish that I could tell him these things myself. I am very sorry for your loss.
Mr. Harris was my son's advisor at New Trier from 1999-2003. Inspirational, compassionate, tolerant, trusting, challenging don't even begin to describe his impact on his students. He leaves a big hole, and he also leaves many former students who are better human beings for knowing him. They will do great things.
To the Harris family and Mr. Dillon,
I am so sorry to hear about the sudden passing of Mr. Harris. He was my English teacher at New Trier in 1995-1996 for a course called "Writers & Literature." I have no doubt it prepared me to become the writer and reporter I am today. He was tough, yet fair, and pushed his students to do their best. It was a great class, and I'm thankful I had a teacher like him.
Again, I am so sorry to hear of his untimely passing. Please know there are many students - current and former - whom he made a great impact on.
I am saddened by the news of Greg's death. I will remember his smiles, greetings, and conversations, in passing, as we walked down halls of New Trier, through which I felt his kindness, compassion, concern and understanding.
Greg always embraced people from different backgrounds. When I talked to him he was always attentive, and when I spoke with a strong accent, Greg would make sure he listened and understood every word. He always liked to hear stories I shared about different cultures. He was a great man, and he will be missed so much.
Greg was a gentle man and a gentleman. He was so very giving and thoughtful and yet strong and purposeful in his dealings with adults and students alike. There was a hole in Hinsdale Central's faculty when he left us and now, unfortunately, New Trier will feel the same sadness.
I learned so much from Greg, lessons that extend well beyond the walls of any classroom. He was an incredibly supportive, kind, gracious and loving person. I always felt inspired around Greg to be a better teacher, colleague and friend, and will miss him very much.
Greg's passion for teaching and for life was infectious. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work and laugh alongside him, and I will always be inspired by his commitment to honoring his students' realities and to nurturing their dreams. Jay, you are in my family's thoughts and prayers.
What can I say about Greg Harris that hasn't been already said? Only that the world will be much sadder for his absence, and that all of his students and friends will greatly miss him. He was a dear man, and, as a librarian, he was one of my very favorite teachers. I always looked forward to working with Greg, and I feel sorry for all the students who won't have his understanding presence to help them on their way.
It seems unfair try to summarize the profound influence that Mr. Harris had on me in just a few sentences. His joy and passion for what he taught were truly inspiring, his intellect and wisdom humbling. More so than any other teacher that I have had, Mr. Harris always treated us with respect, and he was deeply respected as a result. I am thankful to have known someone so selfless, so kind, so loved- from him I learned far more than reading and writing as he actively defined what it means to be a great man. I am exceedingly thankful for the semester that I shared with Mr. Harris, and reassured by his legacy.
Greg was respected and admired by his students and colleagues. He was a creative thinker and an innovator both in the classroom and throughout the school. By sharing his gifts, he enriched us and will continue to do so because we knew him.
I will always remember Greg as a sincere, caring and humble individual who positively impacted my life and the lives of countless others. Simply put he was "a great person" and he will be missed dearly.
In addition to being a dedicated, caring, creative, and innovative teacher, Greg was always a kind, generous, sincere, and patient person. What an honor it was to have worked with Greg on projects for our classes; how reassuring it was to know he was always ready to give one time to answer a question or help one with a problem; and how much we will all miss him even though we know God has welcomed him into Heaven with loving arms. To Jay and the Harris family, I send my deep condolences and my prayers that God will give you the strength to bear your sorrow at losing a gift as wonderful as Greg.
A man of integrity and inspiration. Greg was one of the most gentle, compassionate, thoughtful, and emotionally intelligent people I've ever known. He is sorely missed, but his influence lives on in the many lives he touched at New Trier and elsewhere. Jay, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Greg was such a great person to work with, always helpful and attentive to the concerns of others. I have some great memories of working on Forensics with him, sharing a classroom with him, laughing over the crazy things that happened.....He was the best!
You made the world a much better place. A great teacher, great friend, role model to many.
Greg was such a wonderful colleague and I feel so fortunate to have been able to know him. His smile was a ray of sunshine, and his kindness beyond compare. He will be dearly missed.
Greg was such an engaging man:
he stirred my mind with his thoughtfulness, he grabbed my heart through his compassion, and he embellished my soul by his deep love.
His fingerprints are upon us all...
Mr. Harris empowered his students to turn their delight for literature into wisdom for life. I will always appreciate the encouragement and knowledge he gave me. He touched many souls, and I will never forget the way he touched mine.
From the day Greg Harris joined the New Trier English Department, it was quite clear that this was a man of great substance. He was looked up to by colleagues, staff, administrators, and most importantly, students. Plus, he was just such fun to be around. What a gaping hole his passing leaves in all of our lives.
Greg did an outstanding job of chairing the Wells Scholars selection committee, recruiting and presenting fine NT candidates for this program at his alma mater, which he loved.
When we take New Trier folks on a walking tour of the gorgeous Indiana University campus, we always stop on the steps of Woodburn Hall and say, "This is the spot where Greg Harris met Jay Dillon." May the 30+ years of memories amassed since that day help sustain you, Jay.
The personal loss of such a dear and generous colleague and friend and fellow enthusiast of literature, drama, film, and food runs too deep for words. Thank you for the gift of this beautiful beautiful man. May you find some comfort in knowing how many lives he touched in his all-too-brief years.
A magician with words
and a man of literary genius
Selfless with his knowledge,
he settled not with his own intellect,
But sought to share it with the world.
He was a gift from God
A gift that has left,
But a gift that will last
And last, he shall--
Forever in my heart and soul
Mr. Harris was truly extraordinary as a teacher and a person. My interactions with him were largely restricted to the Writing Center at New Trier, a place Mr. Harris worked so hard to establish for the benefit of NT students. I'm devastated that he is gone, but I will always remember his kind smiles, gentle encouragements, and generous advices.
The last time I saw Mr. Harris was before I went on a trip to a music conference. The last thing he said before I left was, "Good luck. I'll be seeing you."
May God bless you in Heaven, Mr. Harris. And yes, I'll be seeing you.
I know this entry won't be able to convey how much it meant to be in Mr. Harris' class, but here it is anyway. It was a complete honor to be with him for the past six months and I'll miss him forever. I never got to tell him "thanks" for everything he did so I'll say it now. Mr. Harris, thank you.
Greg was an inspiration to all students who were lucky enough to have him as a teacher. Every student felt welcome in his class and was encouraged to think analytically and critically about the texts discussed. Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss.
I first knew Greg as my Film Study teacher and, in the past two years, our relationship grew as he welcomed me into the ranks of the New Trier English Department. Greg was a mentor, an inspiration. Greg encouraged me to reimagine my world; he encouraged me to see; he encouraged me to hear, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens, what is not there and what is. I miss you, Greg.
As a trusted colleague and a reliable mentor, I cannot believe Greg is gone. His quiet presence provided strength for us all, his humor and warmth gave us comfort. He lead students and staff towards our better selves. My only consolation is to try to follow his example; I think that is what Greg would do.
Greg Harris was one of the most sincere people I have ever met. His smile could light up a city. I will miss seeing him each day. He brought joy to everyone around him.
Let it be known that the world is better now, for a good person has been in it. And let us never forget that while death is tragic, life can still be lived in celebration of those who we remember fondly.
Mr. Harris, you are missed.
"Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there."
As a student, I know that Mr. Harris would have wanted us to do exactly this. He was a father figure you could talk to about anything. He always encouraged us to push the limit. He honestly was the best teacher I have ever had, and I was lucky to know him. His passion and knowledge of writing- he shared with us. I will never forget him. I hope that I can make an impact in someway on others as he has on us. "SWS1 Big man. Big school." Your presence will never leave SWS. You loved each of us and we will always love and miss you.
I will remember Greg as the most gentle and kind presence. Always professional, and above all, always concerned about students. We will miss him.
My encounters with Greg Harris were largely limited to our exchanging salutations in the hallway. However, even with such minimal interactions, it was obvious that he was a special person. A person that all of us could look up to, and that all of us should have tried to emulate. He had grace and depth. He, and all that he embodied, will be missed.
I have been, since I met Greg shortly after he came here from Hinsdale, impressed with his intellect, his breadth of understanding, his sense of empathy, and his sense of human dignity, all the equal of his stature. His passing is an immense loss to the New Trier family. He will be dearly missed.
Respectfully and with deep sympathy,
Mr. Harris taught his English class the way most of us should live our lives, with passion and courage. He gave us his time, his vast knowledge, his compassion and understanding. Mr. Harris embodied everything that he taught and through that he gave us strength and hope. Thank You Mr. Harris, for everything.
"You must always run towards what you do not know."
This was the most valuable lesson Mr. Harris taught me. He was the most inspirational teacher I've had throughout high school. He will be missed greatly. Thank you for everything Mr. Harris.
Greg was a kind man and a quiet leader. I was fortunate enough to see his diligent work on behalf of the New Trier Association, much of which was behind the scenes. He was a compassionate Adviser who cared deeply about his students.
Every moment spent with Greg was filled with joy! I am forever grateful to have had the good fortune of working with him. How I will miss our talks about film!
I find it difficult to to express in words the true value of all that Mr. Harris was to me, as a teacher and a friend, but perhaps this quote would provide an effective summation:
"I, -yea, all men- are larger and purer by the infinite breadth of that one little life."
I had the enormous fortune to be a student in Mr. Harris' final AP English class this year. He was a man of great wisdom and kindness - a constant source of knowledge balanced with compassion and benevolence. What Mr. Harris taught me about English studies as well as about how live will forever remain a part of me. My deepest condolences to his present and previous students, his friends, his family, and Mr. Dillon.
I vividly remember the unbridled excitement in Norm Frey's (English Department Chair) voice when he called to tell me that Hinsdale Central's most outstanding English teacher BY FAR was coming to New Trier. His prediction of Greg's greatness was precisely correct. I truly wish all three of our children who graduated from New Trier could have experienced a class with Greg. One did and he has told me often how memorable it was.
Jay, I can't express here the loss and sadness I feel but I hope to convey it to you in person tomorrow.
I had Mr. Harris for Creative Writing, and he was one of those teachers that I will always remember. In the beginning of college I focused on journalism, in large part because Mr. Harris was able to hone my passion for writing into a significant skill - something that helps me tremendously even today. He was a great guy, the community has lost a fantastic teacher and friend. My heartfelt wishes to Jay Dillon and all of Mr. Harris' family.
Greg's passion for teaching and dedication to his students was inspiring to me as a colleague. He was one of those people you meet in life who is so committed to what he does it makes you want to be better at what you do. He will be greatly missed here at New Trier.
Mr. Harris was a kind, attentive and compassionate teacher to every child in his class at New Trier. He will be missed.
Grace, charm, wit, compassion--he gave so much and is gone too soon. We will miss him.
Greg Harris was a true gentleman: articulate, considerate, ethical, and intelligent. New Trier has lost a great colleague, teacher, and friend. It is hard to imagine the English Department without Greg Harris.
Greg was a pillar of strength for New Trier and one of the most caring individuals I have known. He touched so many of us personally and professionally. He was a great leader, an outstanding teacher and wonderful human being. He will be sorely missed. My prayers are with you--Jay and the Harris family.
Mr. Harris was my teacher this year at New Trier, and I felt that he was the first teacher I ever had that put everything he could into trying to build a personal relationship with every one of his students. He was always open to meet and talk about anything, and by the second day of school, he already knew all of our names, showing just how hard he worked to know us. I felt that, like no other teacher I've ever had, he really loved educating, and wanted us to become better reader and writers. The thing I will remember most about him was the time he began to tear up when a student in our class reached an epiphany about "Good Readers and Writers". It showed how much he cared about his students learning.
Greg was one of the finest people I have met in education. His caring approach, sensitivity, knowledge of students, personality and professionalism was a model for every teacher. Greg will be missed by everyone who has ever had the privilege of meeting him in our out of a classroom.
Greg was a the model of respectful behavior to others. Mirrored back by students and staff he was indeed highly respected. His deep love for Jay and others in his family was worm on his sleeve:) He will be greatly missed.
Greg was the consummate gentleman who always brought a smile - he will be truly missed, and lovingly remembered.
In short, Greg was a remarkable individual - generous in spirit, a great intellect, yet humble, and kind-natured on every occasion. I feel lucky and truly privileged to have spent time with Greg...he was a beloved colleague to many. My deepest sympathies to Greg's family.
Fresh out of the Navy in 1994, I was hired as a computer technician in the writing center where Greg worked at New Trier. He was so inspiring to watch teach. Greg took the time to speak with me personally convincing me to go back to school to finish my degree and become a teacher. I am honored and humbled to have worked with him as a colleague. He was the educator I aspire to be.
Greg was a consummate gentleman and a man of highest integrity. I will miss his smile, his friendship, and his brilliant mind. He left a void that will never be filled. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him. May he know peace and feel our love forever.
Greg was the epitome of a scholar and gentleman. He was that rare combination of intellect and compassion and actually the embodiment of New Trier's motto of "minds to inquiry, hearts to compassion, and lives to the service of humanity." We all miss him so much, but he lives through all those he has touched.
Greg was one of New Trier's finest teachers. He was so widely respected by all...staff, students and administrators. He possessed an uncommon sincerity and unusual grace which allowed him to mentor exquisitely. I will miss him and remember him fondly.
Judy Gressel, New Trier librarian
Greg was an amazing person who touched many students and teachers. He was a dear, dear colleague who will be deeply missed; but his memory will always inspire us to be our very best.
What a fabulous teacher, leader, coworker, and mentor. Greg, you are missed by so many.
Greg was an inspiration of kindness, generosity and intelligence in all that he did. His passing has left an emptiness in our hearts. He will be sorely missed.
We were so sorry to hear of your loss. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help at this time.
As a librarian I knew Greg to be a gentleman and a teacher-scholar. His discussions, whether with students or staff, left all of us with new understanding and appreciation of the literature, film or life situation being explored. He will be remembered for the wisdom and grace of his quiet voice.
Mr. Harris was one of my most memorable teachers. He was my Forensics Team Coach and teacher at Hinsdale Central and I still remember him fondly as a great mentor and advocate for his students. My sincere condolences to his family.
Mr. Harris could not have done more for me as a teacher and as a mentor. He was a tremendous influence and infinitely compassionate. I will always remember him.
Mr. Harris was my junior year English teacher at Hinsdale Central in 1990. He was an inspiration, not only because he pushed us to write and argue to the best of our abilities, but also because he was personable and approachable. My deepest condolences to his partner and the other members of his family.
Anyone who knew Greg loved him. I certainly did and always will. We first met while working together at the IU Bookstore in 1978. We became instant friends and remained so. I can see his smile and hear his laugh and I cannot believe Greg Harris is no longer on the earth. The world is a little less graceful and kind without Greg in it. He will be missed so.
I have said, for 20 years since he was my teacher, that Mr. Harris is the most influential teacher I have ever had. He was my Discussion & Debate teacher and Rhetoric teacher at Hinsdale Central High School. He always encouraged me, supported me and inspired me at a time when I really needed it. I am forever grateful for how he brightened my spirit and made a difference in my life. I have never forgotten that and never will.
I knew Greg as a fine person, a gifted teacher and friend. His voice and humor will be here to savor each time I think of him.
I took a speech class from Greg Harris in 1984 at Hinsdale Central High School. It was so much fun I can actually remember specific activities we did, like the time Greg had the class dress up like speakers from history and recite their speeches, (I was Winston Churchill). What a blast! He always brought passion, wit and grace to the class room. My condolences to Jay and the Harris family.
"How good to celebrate our God in song; how sweet to give fitting praise...(God) heals the brokenhearted, binds up their wounds, numbers all the stars, calls each of them by name." (Psalm 147)
In the last few days, as I think about Greg, all I can think of is grace. There is a hole in my heart that I can't even map right now, and the one person who would best know what to say is the one we are all mourning so deeply. There isn't anything to do but celebrate his life in song and pray for healing.
God Bless you, Jay.