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Please see EVENTS tab for tributes and reflections from:
Community Memorial (Flatbush, Brooklyn: June 8, 2014)
St. John’s University Memorial (Jamaica, NY: April 28, 2014)
Critical Sociology Conference (San Francisco, CA: August 18, 2014)
Left Forum (New York, NY: May 31, 2014)

Please see SCHOLARSHIP tab for Interviews and Reviews



POSTS from and other correspondence:

I’m one of Rod’s old comrades from his Kansas City years. One of the Mcdavis brothers. He was one of my early mentors.  The oneness of the Universe never dies and Rod will always be a shining Star. He planted so many seeds, and those seeds have engendered others.  So at this time know you have an extended family that is embracing your Family with “great feelings of Love.” We will keep on fighting for Africa and all of the human race. Please let me know about the memorial in N.Y.
From Philadelphia, 
Mshindi “Shabazz” Ziaga

Posted Mar 10, 2014 6:51pm by upstate friend 4 Rod and Mel Praying 4 you

I know you are in enormous pain and you are lost without him but I am praying that God show you how to continue your journey and find your way …

From Guyana:

I wish to express my sincere condolences to you and your family on the passing of my dear professor Dr. Bush. Although I never met any of his family members he did talk about you constantly and I know that your support was instrumental in helping him to be the truly excellent human being that he was. Thank you.

During my years as an international student at St. John’s University, he was not only a teacher and mentor but also a friend. He always smiled and even when he was busy working on 3 or 4 things at the same time always had time for a few kind words.

He always impressed me with the time and dedication he would spend on grading our term papers. Sometimes I would get a whole page of comments in red ink but he had the uncanny ability to encourage even while he critiqued and to see potential and depth where it was overlooked.

In my current job as a lecturer at the University of Guyana, I can only strive to have the same impact on my students that he had on me. What a wonderful experience it was to learn from and with Dr. Bush! I will always treasure those memories.

I am truly grateful that I was able to spend some of my time here on Earth with someone as special as Rod Bush and I hope that these few words will help to comfort you and ease your grief at the passing of our loved one.

With much love from a continent away, Angelina Autar (Angie)

Posted Dec 18, 2013 9:59pm by Michael Bush:

Dearest Melanie and Rod’s children, Malik, Thembi, and Sarafina. Our condolences and prayers go out to you during this period of mourning. Cherish your memories of Rod. May God grant you peace and consolation.
Peace and love.
Mike, India and Dominic Bush

Posted Dec 17, 2013 10:24pm by Michael Bush:

My brother Rod gone too soon.
I can’t believe you’ve packed another suit case and headed north. I called your phone and heard your voice,” you have reached Rod, Melanie and Sarafina…” Tears flowed from my eyes.  I’ve re-read our last e mails to/from each other and laughed at your suggestion that I buy a smartphone and learn how to text. I said I’m a flip phone kind of brother. We laughed in cyberspace.  I’m so grateful for the times we shared my big brother.
Rest in Peace.
Your brother Mike


My name is Colleen and I am an undegrad student from Professor Bush’s class. When I heard that Dr. Bush’s health was deteriorating so quickly, and that he had finally passed… it was such a strange feeling. It was this continued and non-stop sadness that consumed and swept me up. The tears and crying seemed almost unbearable as I mourned the loss of my newfound mentor. As I wept, a very close friend reminded me that he wouldn’t have wanted to see us all sad and distraught from his passing. Dr. Bush was a man so full of life, happiness, and utter passion. He wouldn’t want to see us down and out from his loss, but to remember him as the phenomenal and lively man that he was.

Sitting in our classroom I always had to scramble to get down every single word that he said, because there was just this way about his words that made everything flow so nicely. My hands would always cramp up after the class from trying to type out every single vowel and syllable. I remember he would always list off a scholar’s name and ask if anyone in the class had knew them. I remember the sheer JOY and EXCITEMENT he would get from me and other students raising their hands and attempting to remember who many were. He was always so very encouraging and nurturing, and his eyes constantly glistened with such PRIDE as we engaged in conversations. Your husband was the first person in my short life that made me feel my fight for the marginalized and oppressed was worth while. Too often, the lack of faith in achieving true social change left me feeling down and out.

People’s pessimism about true liberation constantly made me wonder if I was crazy for even attempting to take this on. Your husband was that warm illuminating light that lit a path for creating lasting and enduring solutions to our current social ills. Speaking about Professor Bush, it seems impossible that any amount of space, or number of characters could ever summarize everything that he was. He would have been so happy to have known he had passed in the proximity of his family, and especially with you. He spoke so highly of you, and his deep commitment and love for you. He would always flash the brightest and genuinely happy smile whenever he mentioned you.

I remember the panic I felt when he had sent out the book review, and the document with options for books was 20+ pages. I thought yo myself, “Oh man, this man is crazy how could he have read all of these books?!” As I went through the list though, I was constantly highlighting titles of MANY of the books. Slowly, but surely these books are trickling into part of my book collection. For the first time I’m learning about these histories in a professional and academic format. This is something that will only fuel the passions and drive that Professor Bush embodied.

I do apologize for this long email, but I really wanted to ensure that you knew the sort of impact he had on my own personal life. I was so excited to meet him, and know him, and I still am. I know that I will go on to do great things in the fighting memory of your husband. In this difficult time, I am sure you are all accompanied with the happy memories of him. Whenever I get upset… or start crying like I am right now, I just think about that twinkle in his eyes, warm smile, and hearty laugh. I will always carry a piece of Professor Bush with me in everything that I do.

Warmly, Colleen Fonseca

Posted Dec 11, 2013 2:11pm by Lorene Bayan:

My deepest regards to the family of Rod Bush, a true, dedicated, and loyal soldier in the fight for justice for all people. I am comforted by his success in educating others as we struggle for peace and justice. Rod Bush lived his life –true – dedicated to the people, 1969-2013, a proud, educated, Black man, I am grateful to have known him. To his children – embrace your father footsteps, and may they be a guide for you.
Lorene Bayan (KU-KCMO)


I just read your update on facebook about Rod and proceeded to read on about his passing and all the posts on his page. I am sure you and Sarafina are being inundated with love and support from all who knew Rod, but I wanted to write you immediately to let you know I am thinking about you during this awful time.

I was shocked to learn about Rod’s illness and Adam and I are so very sorry for you and your entire family. I don’t have the words to express my condolences enough. Rod was truly a great man and from the times I spent with you both, it was clear how much love you two share and how deeply you both care for each other and the people around you. I remember Rod’s warmth and kindness and will be forever grateful, especially how he went out of his way to help me find a job way back when. He was always emailing me postings and helpful links.

I am sorry we have lost touch recently and I am connecting under these circumstances—I hope we can be better in touch in the years to come.

Much Love Always– Shalom & Adam


Melanie, I am so sorry to hear about Rod’s death and terrible illness.
He was a great beacon for justice, reason, and insight in sociology and in the nation/globe. We will  greatly miss him and in so many ways.
My thoughts are with you in these tough days. Let me know if I can ever be of any help.

Warm regards, Joe
Joe Feagin Ella McFadden Professor Department of Sociology
Texas A&M University


Dear Bush family:

During my lunch time, I heard a very sad news that my dear brother Rod, passed away.  This is a shocking news  to us, and we just planned to visit him last night and we would also plan to visit him tonight.

Last night my son was drawing a beautiful boat and he is always willing  to present to Rod as a gift.  We are willing to send his soul into our wonderful dream boat and start his new trip and adventure  with right.

Thank you Melanie, for you honesty and love and care to the lovely husband Rod, and try your best and prepare him for the life trip.

We all love you and you will not be lone and we are always here for you with our love. Let’s hands in hands and welcome our lives adventure.

There is always a great light ahead of us, and it is warm and welcome us. Tomorrow will be another great day!

Just wish Rod has a wonderful trip.  We all love you, Melanie and Rod and his soul is living forever. Have a wonderful warm day!

Sincerely!  Ed and Yuan our children.

Posted Dec 11, 2013 8:15am by Raysa Amador:

Dearest Melanie, Serafine and family
My prayers are with you all and I pray also for Rod’s eternal rest.
All my love,

Posted Dec 9, 2013 8:58pm by Raymond Codrington:

Sending love, care and respect to Rod and all the family. Rod will never be forgotten and he will never be. His spirit lives among us all.

Posted Dec 9, 2013 6:21pm from Kelvin Santiago Valles:

There are men who struggle for a day and they are good.
There are men who struggle for a year and they are better.
There are men who struggle many years, and they are better still.
But there are those who struggle all their lives:
These are the indispensable ones.
Bertold Brecht (“In Praise of the Fighters Song,” The Mother, 1930)

For many of us, it’s going to take some time for Rod’s passing to really sink in. But I wanted to put these few thoughts out there now because I needed to put some thoughts out there. I first saw Rod at some of the1970s discussions between PRWO and the RWL-ML and in 1983 I remember being really impressed by the brother’s arguments and character at a Marxist studies conference in the Midwest. But it was only in these past twenty years that he and I actually became friends: from drawn-out conversations when he commuted from the city to study at our grad program, to the multiple conferences where we coincided, up to our long-lasting e-mail exchanges and debates about each other’s work over the decades. In our case, this was not just a world on paper but papers about the world while struggling within it, based on the firm belief that another one was possible.

Given the huge overlap in our battles inside and outside the academy, in our own social-justice commitments, and in this past decade’s increasingly convergent politico-conceptual frameworks and even sense of humor, it’s a real miracle we didn’t physically coincide more than we did. Right now, I really wish we had because there are still too many things I wanted to talk over with him, too many things I needed to ask him, and too many wisecracks I wanted to run by him. Maybe I’ll write him a long letter or three, once I figure out where to send them to…

When I heard that, early last Thursday evening, Rod was apparently waiting for Mandela so Rod could have somebody to talk to on the train, I immediately thought of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.” (My apologies to all of you not of the Old-School, R&B generation.) I know that Rod and Mandela had more than enough faith to hear the diesels humming and didn’t need no ticket to just get on board. They both spent their whole lives getting ready for the train to Jordan; bound for a promised land and picking up passengers from coast to coast; opening doors and making sure there’s room for all among the loved the most. And I know Rod’s going to be asking Mandela exactly why the ANC didn’t push for the Freedom Charter in the mid-1990s and why he and his folk left things unfinished over there. But I can just see Mandela turning to Rod, asking him why it’s taken him and us folk so long to really get things started over here in the United States because, if we had, … Yeah, people get ready. ‘Cause there’s no hiding place from the people’s throne. I learned a lot from Rod’s ability to hear those diesels humming. I would have liked to learn even more from his incredible generosity to open doors, making sure there’s room for all among the loved the most. Those are the kinds of lessons one learns in struggle, the kind of fight that never stops alone. Rod’s own life was a good example. As so many have already said, since the very day he was born Rod was a fighter. But, more than that, he was a relentless fighter: he never gave up. That’s what made him one of the indispensable ones.

Posted Dec 8, 2013 9:48pm by Maggie Gray:

“Life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” – Kahlil Gibran

Dear Melanie, Sari, and Family,
Warmest thoughts to all of you in this time of grief. Hugs and sympathy.

Posted Dec 8, 2013 4:13am by Jessie Klein:

Dearest Melanie,
I have been thinking of you every day and sending you love and love. I do hope you feel enveloped by the warm blanket of love surrounding you– all the love you and Rod have given to others and to the world should come to you a thousand-fold. I’m sending you hugs- and while words are inadequate- I’m hoping to be of some comfort.

Posted Dec 7, 2013 8:37pm by Mary Alison Cunneen:

You will forever be remembered, admired and loved by the many you influenced and touched during your beautiful life. You serve as a wonderful example of a most kind, loving, and generous spirit. Your sense of humor and gentleness too will be missed. I am so very grateful and feel privileged to have known and worked with you these many years. You accomplished so much and helped so many through your tireless efforts and good works. God Bless you.

Posted Dec 7, 2013 12:21am by CHARLES SHOPSIS:

So fitting that he travels with Mandela.
I will watch Happy Feet Two and cherish Rod, Melanie, and all the fine warm people whom the two of you supported and who have been and will be drawn to you.

Posted Dec 6, 2013 1:50pm by Andre McKenzie:

Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Your contributions to the St. John’s community are innumerable — it is both an honor and privilege to know and work with you. You are a blessing to many.

Posted Dec 6, 2013 12:56pm by Bob Pizzi:

Rod, comrade and dear old friend, I have such love and respect for you and your family. I have always treasured our association and friendship and will carry this love with me forever,
Bob Pizzi

Posted Dec 6, 2013 12:49pm by Natalie Munoz:

Dear Professor Bush,
It was an honor and blessing to work with you last year on Black History Month! You have such incredible spirit and passion for your work. In all sincerity I hope to be like you one day! Sending you lots of love and peace…
Natalie Munoz
Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs

Posted Dec 6, 2013 10:43am by Angie Beeman:

Dear Rod,I am thinking of you and Melanie and sending up prayers. You are both such wonderful, warm people. Blessings to you and your family.
Angie Beeman

Posted Dec 6, 2013 10:38am by Michelle Ronda:

Hi Rod and Melanie,
I have not seen either of you in person for years, but your spirit is so powerful and the love you bring so palpable, that whenever I think of you it is as if I saw you moments ago. You are in my thoughts.
Sending love and strength,
Michelle Ronda

Posted Dec 6, 2013 9:50am by Janja Lalich:

Dear, Dear Rod,
I was and still shocked by the news of your illness. Thoughts of you (and Melanie) have flooded my days since. Rod, I have such vivid memories of you and your incredible, immovable integrity during the years we worked together. You always stood out as a true role model and inspiration. I will never forget the time we had to go to the Democratic Convention. And the times we visited after we all moved to New York. You and Melanie and your wonderful cocker spaniel and your Brooklyn home were such a comfort to me in those transitional times. And oh, what fun we had at the Death of the Monster party with Pam’s Virginia punch. You have always been a true revolutionary, with intelligence and insight, fighting all these years for social justice. I am honored to have known you and please accept all my strength, love, and courage to help you through this battle. And I love you dear Melanie and think of our times together. Your beaming smile, your energy, your devotion. I know you will get through this, but wish you didn’t have to. You have my love and support in all things. My thoughts are constantly with both of you, wishing for a miracle.

Posted Dec 6, 2013 9:43am by Clover Hall:

Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It’s been my privilege to work with you on the Black History Month committee and other activities at St. John’s University. Through your knowledge, passion and commitment, you have truly been an inspiration to many of us (not only to your students).
Clover Hall

Posted Dec 5, 2013 11:54pm by Nancy Strohl:

Rod and Melanie,
We were stunned to hear of your illness. How profound that it coincides with the passing of Nelson Mandela. You share a revolutionary spirit and both of you can be in peace knowing the world is a better place for you having lived your life in the pursuit of Power To The People. Rod you embody this slogan in a very special way. I remember when you, Olga and I ran for the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. Your intellectual gifts meant your analysis and debate skills could be devastating to the establishment candidates but your humanity and compassion meant that you always listened most to the people without power. I remember long analytic discussions at late night donut shops planning our next event, scrutinizing our experiences and struggling to use the election more effectively to build a movement. You pushed me intellectually and I became stronger. I also remember you as a fellow parent. I can still see the laughter and marvelous spirits of Soji, Elena and all the children for whom we were struggling to build a new world. It was such a gift that we could attend your wedding to Melanie in New York. Melanie our love is also with you and your entire family which knowing you is an incredible loving and sharing community.
Our thoughts are with you.
Nancy and Peter

Posted Dec 5, 2013 10:26pm by Dawn Kelleher:

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. ~Emory Austin
The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. ~C.C. Scott
If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell. ~Lance Armstrong
Keep fighting…Fight like Hell…and WIN!
You are in my thoughts and daily prayers…My hope and power of positive thinking…

Posted Dec 5, 2013 10:08pm by Linda Romano:

I was so sorry to read about Rod. I am sending you strong, positive, warm energy and lots of love. Know that there are hundreds and thousands of people doing the same, and giving you a big, big hugs.

Posted Dec 5, 2013 9:25pm by Deborah Little:

Dearest Rod and Melanie, Sari, Chris and family,
I am sending love and support. I am so grateful to know you, to love you, to learn from you, to be in your lives. Rod’s gentle presence and passion for dignity and justice lives in my heart.
Peace be with you all as Rod makes this journey,

Posted Dec 5, 2013 9:08pm by Jonathan March:

For 35 years you’ve been a model for us of love, honesty, and erudition. Thank you for enriching the earth and defending life.
Love always,
Gerda and Jonathan
“Ever’body might be just one big soul,
Well it looks that a-way to me.
Everywhere that you look, in the day or night,
That’s where I’m a-gonna be, Ma,
That’s where I’m a-gonna be.Wherever little children are hungry and cry,
Wherever people ain’t free.
Wherever men are fightin’ for their rights,
That’s where I’m a-gonna be, Ma.
That’s where I’m a-gonna be.”
— Woody Guthrie, Tom Joad

Posted Dec 5, 2013 8:31pm by Jon Frappier:

Dear Rod,
My thoughts are with you and Melanie. My memories start with meetings at your Westpoint apt. and going to Sam Jordans to the travel team far and wide. I learned so much from you as we all did about how to put the heart and mind together to make a difference. Take care.
Love, Jon

Posted Dec 5, 2013 7:12pm by Traci Levy:

Dear Rod:
I remember your smile when you came on campus to Adelphi and Mel’s students would refer to you as “the other Prof. Bush.” I presume your students referred to her the same way.
I remember seeing you occasionally work in Mel’s office and greeting me with your beautiful smile. Your students and your wife have always spoken of you with such respect, admiration, and love. I know from hearing stories and your academic work that you are deeply committed to justice. Thank you for that. Thank you for working to make the world a better place. Thank you for all the students you taught and inspired. Thank you for the scholarly work you shared. Thank you for being such a loving husband to my friend, Mel. My heart is heavy, but inspired by you.
With love and peace,

Posted Dec 5, 2013 7:11pm by Debra Thompson:

Dear Melanie and Rod,
I’m sending God’s healing power, grace, strength and peace to you. I know this is not about me, but I can’t help but feel regret for the many years that have passed, without a face to face.
Love and Thanks …
Debra and Damali

Posted Dec 5, 2013 4:52pm by Tony Platt:

Sending you admiration and appreciation for a life fully lived in the search for social justice. With sorrow and love
Tony & Cecilia

Posted Dec 5, 2013 4:50pm by Renee Shank:

I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about you, Melanie, and Soji. In all of the hardships we seem to be experiencing right now, I am constantly amazed by the sheer quantity and quality of love we are able to share. My mother once said that there is no limit to the number of people we can hold in our hearts. Wise words. I will continue to think of you every day and send you love and strength.

Posted Dec 5, 2013 2:23pm by Nashia Whittenburg:

Dr. Bush,
Thank you for your patience with me as a new administrator when I first joined St. John’s and started planning Black History Month Programs. I was remembering our first phone conversation where you wanted to ensure the integrity of Black History Month and make sure that “I knew what I was doing”. I’m glad that I was able to make you proud, and eventually gain not only your approval, but your mentorship. Thank you for that. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me, for others, and for St. John’s University.

Posted Dec 5, 2013 2:16pm by Patrice Sutton:

Dear Rod,
You have fed the world with peace and justice and it is a better place for your efforts. We send you our loving wishes on your next journey and hope that the peace that you have worked for will surround you in its bliss at this time. We send you gratitude for your friendship and our love, Patrice and Bob

Posted Dec 5, 2013 1:24pm by Steve Grimes:

Professor Bush,
I am at a loss for words in how I should express the pain I am feeling that you are going through this. But rather that talk about how much this hurts me I want to express to you how much you have played an important part in my life and how thankful I am for having met you. I want you to know that you are a huge part making me believe in myself, to instill in me the courage, to move on to a doctorate degree. You have inspired me to do research that matters and most importantly shown me what an effective teacher and mentor should be. Not just your presence but your words have also had a great impact on my how I view the world. I remember one time you exclaimed that people feel the need to be respected. This was in relation to the cynicism that we as sociologists have when we try to make sense of individuals we don’t particularly understand. It is lessons such as those I have held close to me to shape how I think as an academic but also a human being. I want you to know that you were an integral figure in my life and I would not be where I am if it were not for you. I so want you to pull out of this and be back in your office so we can have our talks again. I still hold hope that you do. To Melanie and family. Please know that Dr. Bush is a great man who is truly one of a kind. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to voice my thoughts. Stay strong and know that he is loved by many.

Posted Dec 5, 2013 1:20pm by Jane Armbruster:

Dear Rod,
Thinking of your voice–strong, gentle, soft the round tones of your Florida birthplace audible, then the smile–a grin, really, accompanied by a little dip of your chin–to your left, as I recall it–of course. You will continue to be an inspiration for me and others who strive to join our hearts to our minds to our hands–to thereby make a loving world. Melanie, whenever I visit my closet, I see a small black leather shoulder bag that you gave me some time in late 1985 or early ’86. Seeing it, I remember your generosity, your kindness, and also recall the dinner at your parents’ home with them, Rod, my mother who was visiting NY, and me.
Holding you in my prayers.
Jane Armbruster

Posted Dec 5, 2013 12:34pm by Nancy Frappier:

Dear Rod and Melanie,
Have been thinking of you so much – just two days before I was making my christmas card list and you are on it and I was remembering back to the “bear wedding” in Betita’s backyard, and when the kids were little and so many thoughts, and then to hear this news. Just want you to know we are all sending you our love, prayers and heartfelt thanks for your work and the love you have shared with so many people.
Nancy, Diana and Emily

Posted Dec 5, 2013 11:14am by Carol Cannon:

Dear Rod and Melanie and family,
For the last two days, I’ve been flooded with memories of our times together and the profound effect that you have had on all of our lives. Rod, I was remembering when we facilitated discussions about Bobby Sands and the Irish hunger strikers with our friends in the Western Addition. I learned so much from you about how to connect with people, and how to make political, global connections. During the time that Mike and I were living in Pennsylvania, we had such wonderful times together. At a time when we were all going through ups and downs, transitioning to a new life, you all were a source of support and friendship. Talking through world events; rafting down the Delaware River with Thembi, Malik and Soji; playing games at Coney Island (Melanie, I still have the toy dragon that you won and so generously gave me!); watching Sari eat rice for the first time. Thank you for all these memories and for living a life of devotion and dedication. Somewhere, I have a picture that Mike took of Rod and Melanie and myself at Coney Island. I like to think about this moment–where it’s always sunlight, always friendship, always love.
Love always,
Carol and Mike

Posted Dec 5, 2013 10:20am by Ed McCaughan:

Hello dear comrade. Rod, I’m sending you all my love and respect. You have been and will remain such an inspiration as an exemplary model of an activist intellectual.
I love you very much.

Posted Dec 5, 2013 9:26am by William Felice:

Dearest Rod and Melanie,
I remember so well our times of struggle and love together. Throughout those years, Rod, I always looked up to you as an intellectual giant, a man of honor and integrity, a man committed to fighting injustice and inequality. I will always carry those wonderful memories in by heart. I send to you both all my love, warmest thoughts, and total support.
With deep affection and love,
Bill Felice

Posted Dec 5, 2013 9:08am by Lenor de Cruz:

Dear Rod and Melanie,
Still so stunned by this news. Rod, I have only fond and positive memories… of your incredibly kind and giving nature, your dedication, and your smile and laugh. Melanie, the two of you have made quite a team! Sending all my love and support.

Posted Dec 5, 2013 8:14am by Bob Brown:

Rod – We were so sorry to hear you are very ill – our thoughts and prayers are with you and Melanie in the hopes that you will make it through this latest struggle.
Love – Bob Brown and Flora Biancalana

Posted Dec 5, 2013 1:45am by Sara Theiss:

Dear Rod and Melanie,
My heart got very heavy when I heard the news about Rod’s illness. The image floated to my mind of when I first met you, Rod, at the apt. in Hunter’s Point. What I remember best about you is your gentleness, devotion changing the world, and great insight. The other thing that floated into my head was the Che Guevara quote “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” Rod, you truly, truly embody this love. Thanks for all you have given of yourself to the struggle. Melanie, thanks so much for sharing your time with Rod when it is so precious. I know your generosity now is an extension of the generosity you have both practiced throughout your lives and continue to express. I am sending you both loving energy.
Peace and hugs,
Sara Theiss

Posted Dec 4, 2013 11:15pm by Pablo Sanchez:

Dr. Bush,
I was looking over my notes from our first lesson with you this semester, and at some point I wrote down the following quote by you: “Understand this world, so you can learn how to change it.” Thank you for being a guide in our journey for understanding, and insisting that we apply it constructively and for the benefit of others. By sharing your knowledge with the generations of students you have taught, you will carry on long beyond this moment. We will make you proud.
Pablo Sanchez

Posted Dec 4, 2013 9:32pm by A T:

Dear Dr. Bush, Dr. Melanie Bush, and family,
I must say that it was an honor meeting Dr. Bush. Having shared so many years as a St. John’s student as well as our trip to Detroit. I cannot help but remember the good times in hopes that it will bring happy memories to Dr. Bush as well. I always remember, and always will remember, the many lessons that Dr. Bush shared during his classes. Sending you lot of strength and positive energy your way Dr. Bush.  Melanie, I am sending the strength and positive energy your way as well. You and your husband are great fighters.
Many blessings,
Alicia Teran
Sociology, St. John’s student 2005-2011

Posted Dec 4, 2013 7:57pm by Amarachi Nnadi:

Dear Professor Bush and family,
My prayers go out to you right now in this time of pain. There aren’t enough words that can express the pain that you are feeling right now. Being able to be your student this semester was truly a blessing! Because of your class I picked up sociology as a minor. I wanted to take more classes with you because there was never a dull moment in your (Sociology of the Black Experience). From the moment I walked in, there was always a conversation being held, and you were in charge of. Everytime you did roll call, you always ask the student “Do you know..?” or “Have you ever..?” and we would laugh because it was amazing to the class to see how many people and places you knew. Just by having you as my professor for about 2 1/2 months, the news of you being in the hospital touched me as well as everyone else in the class. There aren’t to many professors that students call their favorite. I pray that God gives you, your family and friends the strength, faith and love that you need now more than ever. God will always be by your side and he is with you! Cancer is just the devil knocking and testing, but Professor Bush you will not allow the door to open! God will strengthen you and your family to overcome this pain! Be strong and continue to have faith for God has not forgotten about his children!
With sincere love and blessings,
Amarachi Nnadi

Posted Dec 4, 2013 5:43pm by Keila Jackson:

Dr. Bush and Family,
I am grateful for the time we have shared together. You have been a wonderful advisor and professor who remains passionate about what you do. Situations like these are always hard for me after recently dealing with a major loss of my own but they are all a part of HIS plan!
Sending my love and prayers to you all,
Keila Jackson

Posted Dec 4, 2013 4:55pm by Ann-Caroline Figareau:

Dear Professor Bush and family,
I am praying with all my heart for you. Although, I have only known you for three months , I sensed how sweet and kindhearted you are Dr. Bush . I truly appreciate your teachings and yourself as a professor. You are a true inspiration for students like me. Thank you , for taking your time to teach us and putting your all in the class. I have no doubt in my mind that God is present with you and your family. With him, all things can be done.
I love you all!
Caroline Figareau

Posted Dec 4, 2013 3:33pm by Crystal Valentine:

Dr Bush,
I wanted to send you strength and encouragement . You are a blessing and your teaching far extends what you see before you. I pray your strength during this time. “The race is not given to the swift, but to the one who can endure” your persistence, strive, strength and determination will not be in vein. Your testimony will touch hundreds of thousands … I can’t wait till you finish and Ace this test of Faith! You are healed in HIS name. I hope this finds and brings joy to your heart.
-Crystal Valentine
(student from your Sociology of the Black Experience Class, Saint Johns University)

Posted Dec 4, 2013 3:24pm by Andrew Bennett:

Dr Bush and Melanie,
It’s always hard for me to find the right words at times like this, but I wanted to send my most sincere love and blessings your family’s way. I’ve only known Dr. Bush this past semester but has already left such an imprint on my life, and has set a high standard I hope to one day achieve.
Every time I’ve heard you speak, I’m inspired to be a better man and encouraged to do more in my community. You’re truly a role model, especially for young Black men.Thank you for all you’ve done.

Posted Dec 4, 2013 3:18pm by Jesse Adamo Grimes:

Dearest Dr. Bush and Family,
You have been an immense force in the lives of both myself and Steve. We both look at you with unabashed admiration; the places you’ve been, the things you’ve seen, and the battles you’ve fought in this crazy world. You were generous enough to share with us, your students, these snippets of life. You’ve helped shape us, form us, guide us and educate us. For that we will be forever changed, and forever grateful. As your journey transitions from the material to the metaphysical, I know that you will face it in the same manner that you have lived your life, courageously and with all the resolve of your inner strength. Be not afraid, for you are surrounded by love.
With all our love and admiration,
Jesse and Steve Grimes

Posted Dec 4, 2013 2:43pm by Jacob Traugott:

Dr. Rod Bush and Melanie,
Your written works and political influence has been an inspiration to me in these last two years since I met you. It has been my great pleasure to know Rod and talk about all kinds of topics with him. After class, about on campus, and whenever we would meet to hear about how each other was doing. Rod, you cared in that kind of way and it makes you a special type of professor. I know your new book will have wonderful reviews and that special influence to those who understand it. I am glad you were able to finish it. I am sorry we cannot meet for lunch this time around, but you will be in my thoughts and in my fond memories. You helped me to understand the weavings of this world and I will forever be thankful for that. You told a story of the past into the future and you lived quite an interesting one as well. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your smile. And may Rod’s family know my gratitude and respect for him. He spoke with such reverence of you, Melanie, and of Adelphi. If you ever want to celebrate his life at St. Johns I will pull all resources to help you on the student end in support to make it great. Rod, bless you. You have done well and you have put in the energy in all the right places. We can all take note of your dedication and compassion AND PASSION! Your light burns bright and your progressive fire will continue. May your strength and mettle bring your comfort and serenity. Goodbye, my friend.

Posted Dec 4, 2013 1:53pm by Bianca Naco:

Dr. Bush and Family,
I don’t know what to say that can provide any solace for what you are going through. However,I can say that all of the encounters I have had with Dr. Bush have been extremely positive. When I was an undergrad and was thinking of minoring in Sociology, his was the first class I took and at that time, I had no idea what he was talking about. All I knew was that there was so much passion in his voice. Now in grad school, I understood him more and the passion was still there. Dr. Bush is funny, intelligent and most importantly, kind. I can’t think of a person who lives and breathes their passion and life work more than him. And for that I am grateful to have had him as Professor at St. John’s. He has surely left his mark here with everyone he encountered. Best wishes to his family and know that the community here is thinking of you.
Bianca Naco

Posted Dec 4, 2013 11:56am by Elizabeth Miller:

Dear Dr. Bush and Family,
Though my time with you was limited, only having met you this past semester, you have impacted me immensely. From your lectures that were marked by a gentle smile and a “you know (insert name of everyone here)”, to your invigorating, passioned stories, you demonstrated a life of a man of and for the people, enlightening and inspiring all. Through this tough time comes a great time of reflection, in which I have learned so much more about who you are as a person, a sociologist, and friend of so many, which is truly invigorating and galvanizing to all those who have come into contact with you. You have truly motivated and encouraged the next group of progressive thinkers; thank you. With love, gratitude, and comfort,

Posted Dec 4, 2013 11:55am by Dionne Dorsey:

Dear Prof Bush, Melanie and Family,
Prof. Bush you are one of the kindest professors I have encountered throughout my graduate studies. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult season of life. Each day lived each memory revisited are treasured gifts. I pray that the love of God will guide you through it all, knowing that you are not alone and that He offers His strength in the midst of our weakness.

Posted Dec 4, 2013 10:46am by sally ridgeway:

Mel and Rod,
You are continuously in my thoughts, with love and prayers for comfort and strength — hugs from my heart.
Love Sally

Posted Dec 3, 2013 10:55pm by Maggie Gray:

Dear Mel and Rod,
Love, courage, serenity, friendship, hugs all being sent your way. Thinking of you constantly and wishing I could give you a hug in person. I know I will soon.
xo, Maggie

Posted Dec 3, 2013 9:56pm by Adela Ruiz:

Dear Dr.Bush,
I really hope you’re ok and you make it through this because we love you. You are one of the kindest people I know, not only because you let me draft my papers but because you manage to stay positive in this unfair racist world. You manage to teach from experience, laugh hard and give us something of infinite value; your passion for your job. I want to be like you when I grow up, so sensitive to others’ struggle, full of life and joy, patience and not made cynical by a tough world, not embittered by it or disillusioned. I want to teach my students that they can change things, they can affect change and give them tools to. I want to teach them to love life and know it is worth fighting for, dying for so that kids can feel safe and laugh in Kenya and anywhere. I want them to feel believed in, know their strength, Critical of Society but never hopeless about it, acknowledging the struggle but honoring our responsibility to each other and our unity as humanity, how you taught us. I wanted to end by thanking you for teaching me so much about movements and about how to be a sociologist, how to apply it to real life. Thank you for believing in me and never expecting less than the best, pushing me and showing us all the importance of pursuing education and having our voices heard. I pray for you every day and am sending you positive energy, I hope you recover and come back to continue to learn from each other, to share laughter, stories of resilience and being awed by the power of community. You are fantastic, irreplaceable and one of my heroes.
All the best always,
Adela Ruiz
Written November 15th, 2013

Posted Dec 3, 2013 9:48pm by christina sneed:

Dr. Bush,
Every day, I am reminded of my first semester at the university – and most of these days involved you. I still remember and cherish the kind and uplifting words you would tell me after I attended a department colloquium at the same time.
You will never understand the impact our conversations have had on my sociological perspective. You are of the people and the revolution will always be yours.All my best,

Posted Dec 3, 2013 2:40pm by nathalie chara:

Hello Dr. Bush,
I want you to know how much you mean to me. Words are not beautiful enough to express the gratitude and love that I have for you. Your ability to radiate happiness and love is incredible and will continue to glow in every student of yours. We have all been blessed knowing you. And even now as we part ways, you will continue to be present in every action, thought, hope, and dream of ours. The world is lucky to have seen such an outstanding man pass through its doors.

Posted Dec 3, 2013 10:55am by Shelida Lee:

Dr. & Mrs. Dr. Bush Words cannot express how grateful I am for time spent with you and I will treasure it always. I may not remember all the names you tried to etch in my tiny little brain, but Dr.Rod Bush yours is forever etched in my heart. I am so very thankful for you.

Posted Dec 3, 2013 9:53amby Corynna LaFrese:

Dr. Bush, Melanie, and family,
Unfortunately, I only met Dr. Bush at the beginning of this semester, and therefore did not know him very long. However, in the short time I did know him, I was amazed and touched by his passion, brilliance and love for sociology, for his family, and for his students. Receiving news such as this, is hard for anyone, but especially when receiving it about someone who brought such joy and compassion to his teachings at St. John’s University. I will continue to do my best and try and follow in the incredible footsteps that he has here. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Dr. Bush was a name constantly circulating the department, but it wasn’t until I took his class last semester that I realized why.  Dr. Bush, you were truly a dedicated, caring, loving, genuine educator who took great pride and support in your students.  You were always available to talk to, whether after class, in your office, or via email.  It is heartbreaking to know that I had just begun to scratch the surface of the type of person you are.  

The life lessons and educational lessons I have learned from you will continue on with me forever, and I want to thank you for inspiring me to continue down this path that we have all come to love.  Your name will continue to circulate the department with the fondest memories and deepest love.

In regards to life, things like that making sure you take time for your family, even when chaos is around you.  For example, he talked about how he went to visit his grandsons and how enjoyable it was.  In regards to academia, he taught me a lot about the black panther and feminist movement that I did not know about.  It was great to be able to hear personal stories from someone who was so invested.  Also, how masculine hegemony hurts both men and females.

God Bless. Corynna LaFrese Sociology Student-St. John’s University

Posted Dec 3, 2013 9:02am by Eleadah Clack:

Dr Bush, and Melanie,
Thank you so much for all you’ve given me in terms of knowledge, trust and faith. Everything I learned in sociology was expressed in your life, Rod and I appreciate every chance I had to learn and work with you. I am keeping you in my heart, always.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 8:11pm by D Smith:

Dear Rod, Melanie, and Family,
I have never met you, Rod, but I know your wife and have always seen the shine in her eyes when she talks about you; I can see the love and bond that you two share. I am thinking of you all and have you in my prayers.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 4:15pm by Luca Delbello:

Dear Rod, Melanie and Family,
I remember the first time I saw Rod at St. John’s University. I had the honor to be one of his students and to have learned so much from his brilliant and great mind. He has had, and will always have, a huge influence on me. He always has time to listen to students and to support them. His gentle ways and passion are unforgettable. My last memory of him is when I met him a month ago in the corridors and he dropped his bag just to hug me. I love him and all my thoughts go to him and everyone close to him in this moment.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 4:07pm by susan briziarelli:

Thinking of you both, and wishing for you strength, courage, perseverance.
Hang in there.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 3:52pm by sally ridgeway:

Rod and Mel.
I continue to hold you both and your family in my heart. Today in a meditation group I sometimes join, I put all my thoughts towards giving you both strength to conquer and prevail over this adversity. Continue in your power!
Love and prayers,

Posted Dec 2, 2013 3:39pm by Frances Adomako:

Dear Melanie and family,
There are few people that I can truly point to as having a profound influence on the person that I am and hope to be. Dr. Bush was that person. He taught me to think critically about the influence of race and social change. I remember laughing when he told me that he believed that Martin and Malcolm, despite everything that I’ve ever been taught, were friends and worked together to bring about the Civil Rights Movement. He encouraged me to find my voice in my writing and I will forever be grateful to him for his love, encouragement and support. He was a brilliant and remarkable person, educator, scholar and mentor. We both looked forward to the day when we could call each other colleagues. I could not have started my doctoral journey without him. As I write this, I’m still in shock. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. May he rest in peace.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 3:33pm by Latoya Lee:

Rod, Mel and Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.
Lots of love and hugs from me to you both.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 3:24pm by Traci Levy:

Mel and Rod:
You both radiate so much love. I am sending more of that love, love, love back at you.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 3:00pm by Victoria Funez:

Dear Rod, Melanie, and Family,
Words cannot begin to justify the sadness this has brought upon us. Instead, let us rejoice on the wonderful memories we’ve shared together to get us through this difficult time. Rod, you lit up the room even before you walked into it. Your spirit radiated an incredible energy for all of us in the classroom. We could sit for hours listening to your adventures from “back in the day”, making us wish we could share those adventures with you. Each of us carries a piece of wisdom that you have endowed on us, and we promise to continue sharing your legacy each and every day.
Love Always,
“…perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know that are happy…”

Posted Dec 2, 2013 2:24pm by Kathleen Gabelman:

Bush Family,
I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Kathy Gabelman

Posted Dec 2, 2013 1:49pm by Kendra Chiu:

Rod, Melanie, & family —
I’m literally frozen over this in the hopes that that time overall can slow down and preserve the precious moments we still have left of you here. Sending all my love and thoughts to you. Know that everything that you are, and all that you have taught us, will continue to ripple for generations to follow. We would definitely not be who we are today were it not for how much you’ve impacted us.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 1:34pm by Daniel Douglas:

Dear Rod, Melanie, and Family:
Words cannot express my deepest sadness at this moment. Rod is and always will be my first true mentor. He typifies what it means to be a great mind, and I love him dearly for what he took his time to impart to me. I know I speak for all of his students when I say that we’d not be who we are without his influence. Peace and strength to Rod and those who he leaves behind as he enters the next phase in his journey.
Dan and Sara

Posted Dec 2, 2013 1:02pm by Susanna Heller:

DEAREST Melanie, Rod and all the family,
All my thoughts are with you, my heart goes to you with love, support, and a great big hug.
There are many out here who are there for you whenever you are ready. PLEASE reach out for help and know we are ready to surround you with love and aid.
susanna and bill

Posted Dec 2, 2013 10:11am by Sam Grogg:

I am thinking of you guys–all best.
Sam Grogg

Posted Dec 2, 2013 10:06am by Perry Greene:

Dear Mel and Rod,
You remain in my thoughts and prayers. Your shared gifts of love and strength are a true source of hope.

Posted Dec 2, 2013 10:00am by Michael Indergaard:

Dear Rod,
You and I have shared a little about our faith, so I think you would agree if I was to say–you are in good hands.
God bless,
Michael and Fumiko Indergaard

Posted Dec 1, 2013 10:12pm by Maggie Gray:

Dear Mel and Rod,
I was listening to Andrew’s and my “song” today and thought I would share it with you to. I’m guessing the sentiments of this sweet song will resonate with you strongly.
Lots of love and warmth,

Posted Dec 1, 2013 10:08pm by Roberta Villalon:

Dear Rod, Melanie and Family,
I simply wanted to share my support in these critical times.
Rod, I admire and respect you deeply.
I am still amazed at having had the privilege of having you as a mentor and colleague at St. John’s. I will be forever grateful and inspired by your integrity. Since I met you in 2006, at the first interview in ASA, I grasped your depth of thought and dignity — I observed how you took notes, asked questions and listened carefully.
Later, I saw how you treated all and everyone with respect and intelligence. You learned and taught something else, always. Your insights profound and constructive.
With no doubt, your work as an activist, professor and theorist, as a political intellectual, has made a vast difference and paved many roads for students, advocates and colleagues.
We are blessed to have been close to you.
All my gratitude.
Peace, and as we say, let the struggle go on – Que la lucha siga!
Roberta Villalon

Posted Dec 1, 2013 3:02pm by Traci Levy:

Hi Rod and Mel and Family:
I am thinking about you all, and sending tons of love and positive energy. I don’t know if you are familiar with one of the Jewish prayers for healing, the Mi Shebeirach, but I listened to a recording of it in your honor. At my synagogue, it’s one of my favorite moments in the service. The rabbi asks for those present to say the name of anyone who needs physical, emotional, or spiritual healing and we connect to each other as a congregation, getting a glimpse of who is praying for whom. Then we sing the prayer, sometimes all in Hebrew, sometimes in English and Hebrew. The melody is also lovely (to my ears). I listened to that and dedicated my prayers to you all as you are going through this difficult time. Here are some words inspired by the Mi Shebeirach from Rabbi Naomi Levy (no relation):May your pain cease,
May your strength increase,
May your fears be released,
May blessings, love and joy surround you.
With love,

Posted Dec 1, 2013 9:21am by Maggie Gray:

Hi Rod and Mel and Sari,
Sending a lot of love your way. Mel, I don’t know if I ever told you that my dad wrote a few joke books. So I thought I would pass along some humor today (including some groaners).
A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says, “Why the long face?”
Why does a flamingo pick up one leg when it sleeps? Because if it picked up both it would fall down.
Do we get fur from a skunk? Yes as fur as possible.
Kid: Dad there’s a small PTA meeting tomorrow night and you have to go.
Dad: Why do I have to go if it is so small?
Kid: Because it’s between you, me, and the principal.
Wife: Honey, wake up, do you hear a mouse squeaking?
Husband: Yes, do you want me to oil it?
All the best,

Posted Dec 1, 2013 8:56am by Maggie Lally:

Thinking of you both and sending some musical inspiration your way!

Posted Nov 30, 2013 10:04pm by Stephanie Lake:

Saw that Rod likes Marx, so thought i’d share in case you missed this one:

Posted Nov 30, 2013 9:58pm by Stephanie Lake:

So much love and positive energy sent your way! We (Winston Chewbaca, Thurman and myself) love you guys very much and are thinking about and praying for you daily. Please let me know if you need anything!!!

Posted Nov 30, 2013 6:08pm by Gina DeBold:

Keeping both of you in my thoughts and prayers. Gina

Posted Nov 30, 2013 11:11am by Deborah Little:

Sending the power of healing love and song and family! Love, Deb


African & African American Studies at the University of Kansas

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