Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Memory of Kim Tunnicliff

According to an email sent out by President Cornwall of the College of Wooster, Kim Tunnicliff was killed in a head-on collision at about 12:30 AM, Eastern time, or around eighteen hours ago. He was the director of off-campus studies at my college, and I will miss him greatly. The chair fell out from under me when I saw the email, about three hours ago. I'd like to say a few words in his memory, since I couldn't attend the on-campus gathering that took place earlier today.

I first met Kim in late January, after a semester spent in Washington D.C., when I needed to straighten out some issues with my transcript and transferring credit for my classes. When I walked into his office (slightly freaking out), without an appointment or anything like that, he immediately dropped what he was working on and gave me all the help I needed. He calmed me down, told me what I should do and whom I should speak to and what forms I should get, and showed me exactly how to get rid of my problem. He was kind, matter-of-fact and he helped me out immensely.

I would come back several times during the semester, either for some problem with one form or another, or to offer to speak at a gathering for future off-campus students he was organizing. Each time, Kim struck me as helpful, as very down-to-earth, and as a really comforting person. He had a way of making the labyrinth of paperwork and permissions that comprises off-campus study seem simple and manageable, and he made you feel good while he was doing it. I always left his office thinking more or less the same thing: "Here is a guy who genuinely wants to help me out and make my life easier. I couldn't ask for more." And even when I didn't need his immediate help, I enjoyed just sitting in his office and talking to him. He seemed like a great guy and a really approachable person, and I'm sad that I didn't get to know him better. He means a lot to me, and I'm sure that all the people he helped could say the same.

Please keep the family and friends of Kim Tunnicliff in your thoughts and prayers, as they will be in mine. I know I speak for everyone at COW when I say that he will be missed.


Zero said...

He was a great guy.
I'm terribly saddened that this has happened.
The College of Wooster has suffered a tragic loss, and he will be missed by current students and alum alike.

Cristina said...

God bless you, Kim! I have known Kim and his family since I was a child- he was a wonderful person and loved his family, friends, and job very much- he had a huge positive impact.

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