I noted in the June 4 On the Campus section that Paul Sigmund has died.
Professor Sigmund was my thesis adviser. I think he pretty much got stuck with me; he was the politics department’s expert on Latin America, and my thesis was on a gubernatorial election in Puerto Rico, where I had grown up.
He helped me get a summer research grant so I could sit at the Library of Congress after junior year; he held the hand of that very callow youth and finally made me understand that “thesis” had a meaning — it was not a history paper, but one that argued a position. He was kind when he easily could have been condescending, and because of him I actually ended up writing something that I can look back on with some pride.
I didn’t and don’t know his family, but I want them to know he was a good and honorable man, someone who made a difference to me.