I canâ€™t say how sad I was to learn about Davidâ€™s death. Ironically, I stumbled on the memorial during a recent sentimental period where I wondered about several of my old professors from Virginia Wesleyan College and Evergreen; my favorite professors. I had lost track of David and consequently lost touch with an extraordinary man who had tremendous impact on my life. I spend the academic year 1972 along with a handful of other students in Davidâ€™s History-Culture class. I was a senior and deeply interested in philosophy and literature but also with humanistic psychology, history and world religion, trying to tie it all together. I was worried at first that I might not like the professor in this year long class and especially during my first months in Washington, by myself, along way from my roots in Virginia. He was bold and outspoken and so big.
My apprehension vanished during our first class. It became clearer as my time with the class increased that Davidâ€™s size was proportional to his largesse. He was inspiring. He had a tremendous appetite for truth, knowledge, passion, learning, sharing and feeling. He was consumed by intellectual honesty. It enveloped those in his slipstream. I found it impossible not to be anything but perfectly honest with him discussing ideas or emotions and he was consumed with both. I was so unfamiliar with either. I learned to learn as much from what is said, written and stated as from what is unsaid, not written and understated.
My time at Evergreen went by so quickly and I struggle to keep a foothold on my memory. Iâ€™ve forgotten the names of many of my mates and lost the trail of their lives but Iâ€™ll never forget David Lee Powell. His passion, intellect, inquisitiveness and honesty were a catalyst to my growth and humanity. I was fortunate to have several professors that were truly inspirational. David was the best. (...)