Tributes to Sheldon Seevak

Tribute to Sheldon Seevak

Remembering Sheldon Seevak

As you know, we lost Sheldon Seevak this weekend.

Mr. Seevak made a tremendous difference in the lives of every single one of the students at Boston Latin and they probably were mostly unaware of his role. He is singularly responsible for creating and endowing the Facing History program and the Seevak website competition at Boston Latin. There is not a day that has gone by that we did not benefit from his generosity. I cannot think of a human being who has cared more about his roots and having a profound effect on the lives of young people, especially at his alma mater, than Mr. Seevak. He read all of your posts (!) and checked in constantly to find out what you were up to and what more he could do.

Mr. Seevak was one of the most generous, thoughtful, concerned and dedicated people I have ever known. He certainly changed my life in innumerable ways. I will miss him enormously. His passing is a profound loss for Boston Latin, for the Facing History program at this school, and for humanity as a whole.

I invite all of you to contribute your thoughts to this tribute page. I am certain that Mrs. Seevak, their children Alison, Evan, and Marina, their children and the rest of the Seevak family will appreciate reading what you have to say about this remarkable man.

Judi Freeman



Posted on August 19, 2007 10:02 AM

I took Facing History as a junior and was fortunate enough to be able to go to Washington DC and Eastern Europe. I am now about to begin college, and have not lost my appreciation for the course and all the opportunities that came from it. Since beginning to apply to college, I have had to write numerous essays about life altering experiences, or my favorite class in school, or simply treasured school memories. Each and every time I have worked Facing History and Ourselves into those many essays. Upon traveling to Eastern Europe, particularly Majdanek Camp, I knew something in me had changed. Also, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC is breathtaking and unforgettable. I chose to travel with the class to DC as a senior as well, simply for another chance to take in all the Museum has to show.

I could name a million other aspects of the Facing History course that have special places in my heart and memory bank. Even prior to taking the course, most of us had heard of the legendary Mr. Seevak who gave so much back to the school. It was not until I did take the course however, that I got a closer look at what his impact has really been. I too love Boston Latin School and it truly touches me to know that Mr. Seevak cared so much for the school and its students. Mr. Seevak acheived a greatness that all should aspire to and I sincerely hope that he and his family know how truly grateful we are.

Jennica Allen '07

Andy Hannon:

Posted on August 19, 2007 10:23 AM

I never had a chance to talk to Mr. Seevak for any extended period of time, but I know that everything that I did in Facing History would not have been possible without his support.

We have lost a great man today.

Requiescat in pace

Andrew Hannon '07

Martha Pierce:

Posted on August 19, 2007 10:39 AM

All four of my daughters took Facing History and all four -- despite differences in personality and approach to academics--graduated from Boston Latin School believing that this course had the most profound impact on their education. I thank Sheldon Seevak for his generosity, his kindness, and for his deep, deep commitment -- for creating this inspirational program and allowing it to flourish.
Too often an individual or a foundation develops an initiative and once off the ground, support withers. Sheldon Seevak was one of a kind: He stayed invested (in all sense of the word) for years and years and because of that unwavering commitment, his work will undoubtedly benefit thousands.
On a personal note, I had the good fortune to meet Sheldon and was struck by his intellectual curiosity, warmth and thoughtfulness.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mrs. Seevak and the entire Seevak family.
Martha Pierce

Cathy O'Flaherty:

Posted on August 19, 2007 11:00 AM

Who is this Mr. Seevak? This is a question I asked when I was told to report to the Seevak conference room for a meeting at Boston Latin School. I wondered again when I sat in Judi Freeman's classroom and was told that the computers creating the perimeter of her classroom were possible because of Mr. Seevak's generosity. I was further amazed by this man when I was told about an annual web page competition that incited my daughter's friends into hours and hours of work, creating web pages about people who make a difference in the world. My oldest daughter was granted the distinct life-changing honor of participating in Mrs. Freeman's Facing History class at Boston Latin School, and my youngest daughter will have that opportunity in the Fall. As a teacher myself, and a parent, there is no greater contribution I can think of than the kind of contributions Mr. Seevak made to the children of Boston. The partnership between Mr. Seevak and Mrs. Freeman is a model for creating and nurturing the greatest possible academic and human potential in any student. I can think of no greater legacy for any human being. Mr. Seevak will always be remembered in the memories of the children of Boston Latin School, but also through the amazing things they will go on to do in their lives. Mr. Seevak changed children's lives; may he rest in peace.

John Crane:

Posted on August 19, 2007 11:15 AM

In a world where so many people are pessimistic and cynical about today's youth, Mr. Seevak remained optimistic. He did not just parrot the words "You are the future leaders," he believed in them whole-heartedly and was willing to support young people in their quest to make this world a safer, more humane place to live.

Though I only had the pleasure of meeting him briefly on two different occasions, I have watched how he has continually supported the students at Boston Latin and my beloved colleague Judi.

May I continue to be inspired by the young people as I get older, following in the footsteps of this great man.

John Crane
International School of Prague

Matthew Yee:

Posted on August 19, 2007 12:46 PM

I only met him just a couple months ago, as it was my first Seevak competition. Even then, I could see how happy and enthusiastic he was about everything he did. He honestly cared about each of the students he came across, inquiring about how they were doing in school, in life, and in general. I remember sitting there the day of the competition, my nerves going haywire, and then he came over and began talking to me. I remember just calming down, feeling less like "I'm going to screw up" and more like "I can do this," and everything came into focus. I remember how he smiled cheerfully at me.

He just had that effect on people.

Even though I only knew him for a day, I realized he was a great man. He was a great man for the person he was as much as for what he did.

Matthew Yee '08

Luigi D:

Posted on August 19, 2007 12:49 PM

I may have not had the fortune of meeting this man in person but he has certainly changed my life for the better. He has truly left a legacy in the hundreds if not thousands of lives that he has changed. By starting and helping fund the Facing History course at BLS he made a difference. I know that I left that course a very different person. I take action whenever I can. And all the people that I help, and have helped, owe something to him as well.

Luigi DePasquale '07

Margaret H. Willison:

Posted on August 19, 2007 01:25 PM

I never had the good fortune to meet Mr. Seevak, but I can still say, without overstatement, that he changed my life, and changed it for the better, through his incredible support of the Facing History and Ourselves course at Boston Latin School. I took the course my junior year of high school, and it started one month after the sudden death of my father and maybe a week before the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. Without Facing History and Ourselves as an outlet for my feelings of bewilderment, and Ms. Freeman as a guide- for all of us- through that incredibly frightening time, I don't know how I would have found my way through it in one piece. More than simply providing me and my classmates with the tools to cope, however, the course also challenged us, and challenged me personally to look further than my own grief, further even than our national grief, and connect and consider the experiences of others throughout the world.

At a time when I could have become isolated in my own sadness, and when so many others were narrowing their minds and viewpoints, Facing History and Ourselves pushed me instead to open myself up, and feel true, intelligent compassion for others- other Americans, people from other countries, people from other cultures, and even people from other times.

That lesson has never left me, and I know every day I am a better person for it. And I know, moreover, that without Mr. Seevak's intelligent compassion, and enduring support for the school and the program, it would never have been possible.

Even though I have never met him, or his family, my heart is with them today, and I hope my words can provide them with some comfort in this incredibly difficult time.

Margaret Willison '03

David Pollard:

Posted on August 19, 2007 03:25 PM

I wasn't fortunate enough to get too personal with Mr. Seevak, I had planned on introducing myself to him this coming year. All I really know is the amazing contribution that he made to the Boston Latin School and Facing History, as well as the fact that he was a truly amazing man. It's never easy to lose great people when they come few and far between, but you can't forget what he did and we he believed was important in life. So here's to his memory - his life and his efforts will certainly not be forgotten even by those who only know his name.

-David Pollard '08

Julie Ng:

Posted on August 19, 2007 04:44 PM

Sheldon Seevak was one of those great people who have given back so much not only to our society, but also to our community at Boston Latin in such a way that has had a profound impact especially on students' lives, including mine.

The community has given me not only friends for life, but also computer skills that have helped pay for a degree from Tufts University. I took Facing History my senior year and traveled to Eastern Europe (EE), marking the end of my career at Latin but the beginning of a new chapter of my life. Traveling inspired me not only to learn a new language but also to study abroad and experience the world in a different way. More importantly, Mr. Seevak and Judi Freeman gave me the opportunity to teach as an instructor for the Website Competition. Having discovered that I love teaching, I’ve taken opportunities to TA at Tufts for the German department, at a school in Tübingen, Germany while studying abroad, and now in Munich, Germany as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grantee.

I still cannot believe Mr. Seevak is no longer here with us. His absence has left a huge void. I will miss his confidence, inspiration and support. Working at LTQ has given me the self-confidence to undertake anything. His involvement at Latin inspires me and reminds me to stay involved. Mr. Seevak was generous in many ways, but most importantly he was generous with his heart. He took the time to always ask about me and my latest endeavors. He sought me out on Facebook. And when I faced the dilemma of accepting a management job at a corporate company or completing a Fulbright, he told me to follow my heart: "You will succeed at whatever you choose to do."

I love John Crane’s statement about Mr. Seevak's optimism. He was optimistic not only for today's youth but also the world (despite the crazy times we live in) because he knew a secret. Everyone changes the world in small ways that can have enormous ripple effects. Latin students face tall and maybe impossible expectations to be the best and to also change the world, to be a doctor and cure cancer or to become the next Bill Gates and start the next foundation to fight poverty and whatnot. Implicitly these expectations of greatness are there for many of us. Mr. Seevak showed me that greatness has nothing to do with intellectual ability or wealth. As the Facing History program also teaches us, one changes the world by being a human being: being open, kind and considerate of others, and most importantly by caring. He cared for Boston Latin and Facing History. He cared for Judi Freeman and the students, past and present. And he cared for me.

Sheldon Seevak changed my world. And that has made all the difference.

Julie Ng '03

Michael Sahagian:

Posted on August 19, 2007 05:34 PM

Even though I only met Mr. Seevak once, he made a difference in my life. Before the winners were announced at this years Seevak Competition, he gave a speech which made me look forward to coming back year after year until I could no more. I am deeply saddened that he passed away and I send my sympathies to his family.

Michael Sahagian '11

David Whitaker:

Posted on August 19, 2007 05:37 PM

It is difficult to comprehend the impact that Mr. Sheldon Seevak had on the Boston Latin School community. While I myself never had the chance to meet this generous man, I am truly honored to have been blessed with the opportunities he gave to the students. It is because of this great man that I have had so many wonderful, life-changing experiences as a high school student, which would have been impossible without his help.

To fully understand the legacy he left behind, one simply has to go up to the third floor, where one would find a room, jam-packed with students, computers, and posters. I have never seen any classroom so busy after the school day ends; one can always find students working on computers for the Seevak website competition, for example, or having a discussion with our teacher, Ms. Freeman.

I took the class, Facing History and Ourselves as a junior two years ago. Having just graduated, I can say with confidence that Facing History was the most intellectually stimulating and thoughtful class I have ever taken and the trips I took with the class were defining moments in my life. The experiences Mr. Seevak gave me have deeply impacted me and I will take what I have learned from them with me for the rest of my life. Mr. Seevak deeply cared about the students at Boston Latin, and for that, I am truly grateful.

David Whitaker '07

Katarina Yee:

Posted on August 19, 2007 06:01 PM

I remember how excited I was to take a history class, where we'd link what has happened in the past to the present day and our future. Discussions about racism, genocide, human rights...I knew this course would completely change the way I saw the world, but I really had no idea how great the impact would be. Even having graduated from college, I know that FHAO was the most important class I have taken, at a most important time in my life. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Seevak for being so passionate about its importance and his commitment to its success at BLS.

I also feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with students who participated in the Seevak Website Competition. Each year, I looked forward to seeing Mr. Seevak's beaming smile-- his excitement never waning as each year passed. It was always such a pleasure to chat with him before the presentations began, because his enthusiasm was so apparent.

Mr. Seevak has made and will continue to make a huge impact on so many young people, who will go on to do great things for the world largely because of him.

Katarina Yee '02

Evan Seevak:

Posted on August 19, 2007 06:24 PM

One of the great joys of my father's life was Facing History at Boston Latin. He truly loved working with Judi and all of the students who participated. Thank you for giving meaning to his efforts and leaving a wonderful legacy to help us remember him.

Evan Seevak


Posted on August 19, 2007 07:23 PM

I didn't really know Mr. Seevak, but I really liked doing a Seevak website project. I am so grateful to him for donating the funds to make it possible. It changed the way I see the world.

Thanks Mr. Seevak.
God bless and rest in Peace.

Ben Hill '10

Diana Man:

Posted on August 19, 2007 09:53 PM

I do recall meeting Mr. Seevak one day at my FHAO class. Even though it was a short conversation, he was very delightful and easy going man. I never knew about his accomplishments until I read his bio tonight. I will always be grateful for his devotion to Facing History and Ourselves. It gave me the chance to open my mind and become an independent thinker. Facing History and Ourselves was by far one of my favorite classes and I learned a lot about history and myself.

My heartfelt apologies go out to the Seevak family. A great man with such love and devotion has passed, but I have no doubt that there will be love and comfort from everyone he has touched. I send my love and strength and my prayers go out to you.

Diana Man '02

Ke Zhang:

Posted on August 19, 2007 10:20 PM

When I first met Mr. Seevak, I was an eighth grader lost in the vast halls of the Latin School: a naïve and ignorant child. At that crossroad in my life, I was introduced to the Learntoquestion community and to Mr. Seevak. His gold-rimmed glasses and firm handshake initially left me slightly intimidated, but his wide smile and gentle voice quickly confirmed in me a strong sense of respect for him. Here was a man who had a vision for the Boston Latin School and took the initiative to start programs that would forever change the lives of youths at their most impressionable stage. For the subsequent five years, I was able to witness (and eventually participate in) classes of Facing History students relive history in rooms 018 and 307, leaving the school with a new perspective on society, human nature, and each other; leaving the school a better human being.

As my time at the Latin School passed year by year, I found a home in the Learntoquestion community, an invaluable mentor, teacher, and counselor in Ms. Freeman, and a platform for connecting technology with a noble cause in the Seevak Website Competitions. Those are just a few of the countless things in my life that I am so grateful for that can be traced back to Mr. Seevak. I feel unbelievably blessed to have been able to experience and contribute to Mr. Seevak’s vision. And I will always keep in the back of my mind that none of the aforementioned blessings would have been possible without Mr. Seevak’s generosity and support.

I will sincerely miss Mr. Seevak; His display of passion and vision will forever be close to all our hearts. I can never say it enough: Thank you Mr. Seevak.

Ke Zhang '06


Posted on August 19, 2007 10:42 PM

Competing in the Seevak website competition was an eye-opening and memorable experience for me. I am grateful for Mr. Seevak's support and contribution.

Semper in nostrum pectus pectoris, Quiescat in pace.

Sarah Leonard '06

Patsy Foley:

Posted on August 19, 2007 10:55 PM

In the 12 years that I attended Boston Public Schools, no class ever had such a profound impact on my life. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to take Facing History and Ourselves at Latin. Living in Boston, we have all witnessed numerous acts of prejudice, hate and racism. Facing History gave me the courage to speak up about such actions, and as Ms. Freeman would say, stop being a bystander.

Like many of the students have said before me, I traveled to Eastern Europe and Washington D.C. with Ms. Freeman. Walking through the exhibits at the Holocaust Museum, reading testimonies, watching live films, and hearing survivors of the Holocaust speak are experiences that I will cherish forever. I will never forget the smell of the shoes at Majdanek, or the feeling of sadness as 45 of my classmates and I walked through the gas chambers that still stand at some of the 5 camps that we visited in Eastern Europe.

Facing History is not just a class that I took in high school. It is not just 45 minutes of wasted time. Facing History is a huge part of me. It has challenged me to see the gray in the world instead of simply black and white. It has opened my eyes and heart to so many different cultures and life styles.

I can only pray that we students will be able to contribute as much as Mr. Seevak has to our lives. I remember meeting him one time in class as he came in to talk to Ms. Freeman. On my way out of class I shook his hand and said thank you to him. I wish he really knew how thankful I was to him, and still am.

Taking Facing History truly changed my life and inspired me to live for more then just myself. It has inspired me to live for the cause of justice in our world.

May He rest in peace and my deepest condolences to all of Mr. Seevak’s family, and close friends.

Love Always,
Patsy Foley ‘07

Jim Montague:

Posted on August 19, 2007 11:08 PM

I was shocked and terribly saddened to hear of Shelley Seevak’s death this weekend.

I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Seevak shortly after I arrived at Boston Latin School seven years ago. I remember being impressed by his genuine love for the school and our students. I walked away from our first conversation with the feeling that this was someone who truly cared about the students we serve.

Over the years, I had the opportunity to have many conversations with this incredible man He visited the school often and I was able to get to know him better and fully appreciate the depth of his commitment to our school and his passion for helping our students. What impressed me most was the intensity of his concern and his unbelievable generosity.

During this past year, I served as a chaperone for the Facing History and Ourselves trip to Eastern Europe. While I have been a frequent visitor to the FHAO classes over the years, this trip provided me with a much better sense of the profound contributions that Mr. Seevak has made to the education and development of our students. Through his active involvement and generous support, our students have enjoyed numerous first-hand experiences and life-changing opportunities that would never have been possible otherwise.

It is hard to imagine starting a new school year without Shelley stopping by to see how we are doing and asking how he might help. He was thrilled that Ms. Mooney Teta has been selected as our new HM and was very enthusiastic about the future.

While I have met many supportive and involved alums over the past few years, there is no one who has demonstrated Shelley’s dedication, loyalty and devotion to what makes BLS such a unique place. BLS has lost a very special friend.

Jim Montague
Guidance & Support Services

Gregory Wong:

Posted on August 19, 2007 11:11 PM

The most significant things I have done at Boston Latin came from the Facing History course and from the websites my partners and I constructed for the Seevak Website Competition. There are rarely better memories from my high school experience than the ones I spent with my friends in each, respectively. I wholeheartedly will miss his support for the FHAO course and the Competition.

The first words I read from him were comments he had typed for me and Barbara Sidoti on our first Seevak website detailing the life of John Wallach in the 11th grade. I still have them. From his words, I saw genuine honesty, someone who truly learned from our site and thanked us for our hard work. That is exactly the man Mr. Sheldon Seevak is, the type who likes to see the students from BLS succeed, determined to change people, and determined to pursue what matters.

And from what he offered to me, I will continue to use. From the Seevak Competition, I have picked up immense skills that will wholly apply to many of the decisions I will make and the activities I will pursue at Wesleyan. The FHAO class, as Ms. Freeman knows, has profoundly shaped what I will do with my college and post-college lives.

All will forever appreciate the legacy that Mr. Seevak left to us: an amazing course, an important competition, and even some new vocabulary words (Seevaking, anyone?). It is truly a distinguished and significant legacy. Thank you.

Gregory Wong '07

Connie Wong:

Posted on August 19, 2007 11:22 PM

I participated in the Seevak competition in my junior year at Boston Latin School. Having not yet taken the Facing History course, I had not fully grasped the concept of honoring people who stood up for human rights. I had seen the event as a competition more than anything. It was in my senior year that I did finally take the Facing History course and the course in itself changed my life (it is also very heartwarming to know that he read all of our posts). The Eastern Europe trip and the D.C. further impacted my view of the world. The lessons I have learned due to Mr. Seevak's generosity are endless. It has changed me as a person, it has changed my values and it has altered my future to be one where I will do all I can to help those in need. I view those important lessons as gifts from Mr. Seevak. Without him, there would be no Facing History course at Boston Latin. Without him, there would be no Seevak competition. Without him, I can honestly say that my sense of the world would have been more closed-minded and selfish.

My most vivid memories involving Mr. Seevak include the food fund for the Seevak competitors. There were many nights in which we students could have gone hungry, but Mr. Seevak made sure that we would not starve in our quest to put up a webpage. I also recall seeing Mr. Seevak the night of the presentations, while we waited for the judges to make their decision. He was looking at the plaques across the hall from the main office and we were all too timid to approach him. It wasn't that we were afraid, I think we were all simply too shy. Now that I look back on the moment, I regret not having spoken to him. I had no idea that he would impact my life so greatly within the next year. I owe a lot to Mr. Seevak and I know that the greatest way I can pay him back for what he has done for me is to carry on the lessons I learned from Facing History and the Seevak competition, and use those gifts he has given me to better guide me in life.

Rest in peace, Mr. Seevak. You have changed many lives and have bettered many children. Thank you for your endless kindness and your immense generosity. We will miss you, and we will always remember you.

Connie Wong '07

Lolle Boettcher:

Posted on August 20, 2007 10:38 AM

I, like so many others who have posted here, had only one day with Mr. and Mrs. Seevak. This was just two weeks ago at the USHMM where his support for our Regional Educational Corps teacher program allowed me to be one of the 10 new corps members added this year. He spoke with many of us and was genuinely interested in hearing about how teaching the Holocaust to our students and to members of surrounding communities has made a difference. Mr. Seevak displayed such an accepting and supportive attitude, showing genuine interest in our table discussion. I was so deeply impressed with the level of commmitment both he and his wife had for this very dark topic that must be taught.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Mrs. Seevak and her family. May he rest in peace.

Lolle Boettcher

Sarah Onofri:

Posted on August 20, 2007 11:13 AM

Facing History for me (and so many others before me) was a life changing class. Up until the past year, my senior year at BLS, when I took Facing History I didn’t know almost anything about most of the genocides we studied. I vaguely knew there was a genocide going on in Darfur because of my friends who had taken the class before me but I had never seemed to do anything.

Through my studies in Facing History and being able to participate in the Eastern Europe and D.C. trips, I really learned how important it is to stand up and make a difference. I’ve learned how important it is to learn your history, so you know, so you understand. I now know that I can’t just sit back and do nothing, I just have to react.

I know that if it weren’t for Facing History I wouldn’t be able to proudly wear my Genocide Intervention t-shirt hoping someone asks me about it. I wouldn’t be going to Darfur Die-Ins and writing letters to my family teaching them about the genocide.

Not only that but I know that Facing History and Ourselves has prepared me academically for future college discussions. This summer I participated in the program TEACHBoston, and part of the program was taking two college classes. Every time we began to discuss something controversial I’d start out whatever I had to say in our discussion with “We talked about this in my Facing History class last year…” I loved that I already at least had an idea of what this topic was, I had at least begun to form an opinion.

I know that because of Facing History I’m a much more informed and better person. I wish I had gotten to know Mr. Seevak but I do know that all of this, all of me post-FHAO is because of what he has done for BLS. It’s inspiring to see how much he cared for the school and for the students to come after him. He will truly be missed by everyone in the BLS community and in the world.

My thoughts are with Mr. Seevak and his family,
Sarah Onofri ‘07

Rob Hadley:

Posted on August 20, 2007 11:35 AM

As with Lollie, I only just met Mr Seevak a few weeks ago at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. He came to spend the day with 30 teachers from around the country as part of their Regional Education Corps that he and his wife helped make possible. We were so proud that he came to spend the day with us, and through out conversation with he and his wife we could fully see that he was a man of great compassion and strongly believed in the youth of America. His efforts inspired all of us and his legacy in some small way will always be with me and what I do as a Holocaust Educator. We will greatly miss him and we send our thoughts and prayers to his entire family.

Rob Hadley
Regional Education Corps
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Andrew Klein:

Posted on August 20, 2007 11:44 AM

Although I never had the privilege of being formally introduced to Sheldon Seevak, I nevertheless hold a deep respect for him. I didn’t have to meet Mr. Seevak to know that he was tremendously dedicated to fostering a questioning attitude, to exposing the injustices of this world, to improving the quality of life for all, and to ensuring that human rights are globally upheld.

I know this because of his unremitting generosity and commitment to the Facing History and Ourselves program and to the Seevak competition. Both of these introduce participants to horrific injustices and human rights abuses. But the programs do not stop at this point. From my experience in Facing History, I know and value the opportunity that students are given to work towards the eradication of such atrocities and towards the overall betterment of the world. Such opportunities are rarely afforded the youth of today and would not be available for the thousands of students touched by Facing History, the Seevak competition, or in some cases both if it wasn’t for Mr. Seevak’s remarkable contributions.

Mr. Seevak’s involvement in Facing History and the Seevak competition has helped encourage awareness and activism in countless students, and I can gratefully count myself as one of them. I can say without reservation that Mr. Seevak helped shape my mind.

Andrew Klein ‘08

Ari Klickstein:

Posted on August 20, 2007 01:39 PM

When I first entered the Seevak Website Competition as a freshman, I was surprised by the professionalism and enthusiasm with which Julie Ng, a former competitor, presented it. This was no doubt grounded in its universal legitimacy. She told us that even though we were high school students, our peers around the world would use sites we created as resources for their own research, just as her own site had been used. Once it kicked off, the competition stressed excellence and innovation both in the design of the site and the information conveyed. The environment was highly competitive at the same time as being cooperative -- it would not be uncommon to see veteran designers teaching newcomers how to use the professional-level software available in room 307.

All of this, from the physical computers to the strong community that developed was thanks to Mr. Seevak’s generosity and his vision. He understood that in the culture of BLS, one from which he benefited, even an 8th grader would be able to put out a workable site and gain experience for next year’s competition.

I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Seevak at the close of the first website competition I was a part of, but before we spoke, he addressed everyone there. He was very supportive of all the students, and through his modesty we all could understand that he was just as excited about and proud of the sites as we were, and recognized the effort taken to create them. One on one, his smile and charm was genuine, and he had a grandfather-like kindness.

This past year, I was able to take Facing History at BLS, which, like many of the other students have said, was much more than a class with a curriculum and homework assignments. Participating was a life-changing experience that took me from Boston to Berlin to Washington DC, and that incorporated as much personal discovery as it lent me a view into historically important events that would otherwise be relegated to a paragraph, perhaps, within a textbook. As students, these often overlooked events contribute not only to our understanding of the past, but more importantly inform our opinions and standings in the future, and in many cases, in the present here in Boston. By now, hundreds of students have gained new perspective and the course of their lives have changed because of Mr. Seevak’s wish to educate BLS students about the importance of democracy and human rights.

It is heartening that Mr. Seevak was able to take part in the festivities of the 10th annual Seevak Website Competition this past year, and I’m certain that students in the future will be edified, as I have been, by his far-reaching kindness.

May the Seevak family be comforted by his memory and the effect of his good works -- he has truly touched us all.

Ari Klickstein ‘08

Maria Weissman:

Posted on August 20, 2007 01:41 PM

Many people who positively affect my life are ones whose generosity, kindness and selflessness are not things I think about on a daily basis. Mr. Seevak was certainly all of this, and he has positively affected my life in more ways than I can count, but like many great people, he didn't ask, or want, daily recognition from us students. He simply gave and asked that in return we become better human beings who are more thoughtful, more open-minded and more aware.

And that certainly has occurred. Almost every person I've talked to who has taken the Facing History course has told me that their lives have been changed by it, a course that wouldn't exist at Boston Latin without Mr. Seevak's dedication. Mr. Seevak was truly a great person, as anyone who knows about him can attest to, but what truly grabs me is that he allowed us all to take him for granted. Although he was responsible for bringing about and maintaining this core course at BLS, the focus was always on us students and what he could do so that we could have more opportunities to become better people.

Mr. Seevak has given so very much to the students at Boston Latin School, and as we all go out and become members of larger communities, I'm sure the knowledge and morals instilled in us will be spread even further. The passing of such a wonderful, altruistic person is truly a loss and his faithful devotion to the Facing History community and the students at BLS will certainly be missed. His faith in what we can accomplish as perceptive human beings in a changing and tumultuous world, however, is something that will live on as the facing history course at Boston Latin School continues to grow and develop, thanks to him.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Seevak, and thank you for all the time you spent helping to make our lives better and more beneficial.

Maria Weissman '08

Abigail Brown:

Posted on August 20, 2007 03:11 PM

You know that feeling when you shake the hand of a celebrity? That "I'm never washing this hand again, that person is just too awesome" feeling? That's how it felt to shake the hand of Mr. Sheldon Seevak. Perhaps to the outside world he wasn't so famous. But to the Facing History and Boston Latin community, he certainly was. Even beyond his genuine kindness, he did something most celebrities cannot claim to have accomplished: he changed the world, one curious high school student at a time.

I only met Mr. Seevak a twice, once on the 2006 Washington DC trip and once at the 10 Year Anniversary Seevak Website Competition Celebration. He was never anything but kind, friendly, and so truly thrilled that students were benefiting from his contributions. Repeatedly, people here on this page describe how much faith he placed in us students, how much he believed in us and wanted us to be able to make better decisions than our "grown-up" predecessors. It meant a lot to be believed in.

It is impossible to speak of Mr. Seevak and not at least mention how important Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO) is and was to me. FHAO not only opens closed eyes, but widens already seeing ones. FHAO is so much more than genocide. It is about understanding the constant clash between how inexplicably inhuman and understandably humane people are; at its core, it is about understanding, and Mr. Seevak was instrumental in bringing this to Boston Latin. FHAO fostered in me a strong interest and belief in social justice, one which I hope to pursue enthusiastically in college.

For everything that Mr. Seevak did for us students, for Ms. Judi Freeman, for Boston Latin, and for those whose lives have been bettered by graduates of the FHAO program, all I can humbly say is thank you. It was a privilege to have met Mr. Seevak and a privilege to learn all I have.

The world is a better place for having had Mr. Sheldon Seevak in it.

Abigail Brown '07

David S. Weiner:

Posted on August 20, 2007 03:52 PM

This is a sad time for BLS and its alumni because we have just lost a very dear and special son of the Latin School.

Shortly after assuming my role at the BLSA, I encountered Shelley, lying in wait for me in my office, determined to have me share his vision and passion for the Facing History program at his beloved alma mater. It took about a minute to appreciate that in Shelley we had not only a uniquely loyal, kind, and dedicated alum, but one who cared deeply about today's and tomorrow's Latin School students. And his commitment to social justice led him to care about students' learning about the advancement or deprivation of individual freedoms and human rights throughout history.

In fact, Shelley, through his generous determination to establish and then endow Facing History, and through his proactive involvement and regular visits with Judi Freeman, the school, and its students, became a role model and inspiration to other alumni interested in giving back to Alma Mater.

Shelley has left a remarkable legacy by which he will forever be remembered by all BLS'ers. I send my deepest condolences along with those of the entire BLSA family to Ellie, her children, and all the Seevak family. We have lost a true leader and a dear friend.

David Weiner '59
President, BLSA

Sally Levine:

Posted on August 20, 2007 04:06 PM

Like Rob and Lolle, I had the good fortune to meet Mr. and Mrs. Seevak at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. What made our time together so unique was the sincere interest that both of them had in Holocaust education. I read the obituary for Mr. Seevak in The New York Times this morning, and as I am sure we all did, I felt shocked and deeply saddened. It is a reminder to all of us that we need to do whatever we can, in as timely a way as possible, to make a difference in this world. I know that Mr. Seevak and his wife took this to heart. How fortunate we all are to have had such a meaningful day with him.

Sally N. Levine
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Regional Educator

Sam Graham-Felsen:

Posted on August 20, 2007 04:20 PM

I never got to meet Mr. Seevak myself, but the legacy he left with Facing History has made a major impact on me and my two brothers, Joe and Jake (also BLSers).

May his legacy live on in the innumerable young lives he touched. He inspired so many young idealists to continue to dream of -- and work towards -- a better world.

Sam Graham-Felsen '99

Katie Harrison:

Posted on August 20, 2007 04:49 PM

This comes to me just a few weeks after I finally mailed Mr. and Mrs. Seevak a thank-you card for all their contributions to Boston Latin School, and to my life in particular. I'm glad I mailed it when I did. Maybe they got it; I don't know. I wanted them to know how much of a difference they made to me.

They gave me a class that made me think about the important things at least once a day, and they created the Seevak competition, which surely changed the course of my life. I can tell it changed the course of others’ as well. As the “alumni” of the project spoke before the last Seevak Competition presentations, it became clear that nearly all of them have gone into humanitarian and social justice work. That’s astounding, and it’s no accident. In large part, that's Mr. Seevak’s legacy, for repeatedly stressing the importance and nobility of such work through Facing History and through this project.

I’m grateful for it. Thank you, Mr. Seevak, for giving so much of your life and energy to this school.

Katie Harrison ‘07

Katie Taylor:

Posted on August 20, 2007 05:15 PM

Although I have never met Mr. Seevak I am a better person because he existed. I am a smarter, more sensitive and a more compassionate human being because he was also. And I am now filled with regret and sorrow because I was never able to thank him.

It takes a very strong person to change the lives of so many young people so profoundly, but it takes an even stronger person to do so behind the scenes as much as Mr. Seevak did. Having read so many of the tributes to him it shows that many of the Facing History students had never met him. He changed innumerable lives and he did so without expectation of constant praise and thanks and recognition, much as he deserved them and that takes an extraordinary person.

It is a special person indeed of whom we can say "The world is darker since you have left it, but it is also much brighter that you were in it at all".

Katie Taylor '06

Ian S Dyer-Bennem:

Posted on August 20, 2007 05:50 PM

When I started in the Facing History program at the Boston Latin School, I felt as though I was the one who knew everything, that I was the one who was going to teach these do-gooders a thing or two about how we should actually live in this world. I was going to show them that things are actually okay, that social change is not needed, and further more, who are we to declare that there are social changes are the right ones?

As the year went on I kept up this stance but certain things began to gnaw at me. I started to see how much our world suffered because of opinions like mine, and yet I still decided that I was right, that I was still correct in my views and assumptions. I was a man without faith, and without faith i couldn't find any way to justify a need for social change.

As Ms. Freeman knows, after one class I came back to talk to her about my inner struggle. I questioned my beliefs, and her beliefs. I questioned why anything in fact mattered when you don't have something to believe in. I began to blame the class for what it was doing. I thought it was making me weak. It was breaking my logic and reason. How could a class at my school do this to me?

As we continued to learn of our true history, I began to see more and more what opinions like mine do to the world. They create bystanders. Bystanders like those who stood by during the genocide in Rwanda and other atrocities through out the world. And still I could not bring myself to change the way i thought. I still could not logically or rationally prove to myself that we had any right to interfere whatsoever.

And then the class ended and summer came. But in reality that class didn't end. The lessons it has tried to teach me stuck in my head. I couldn't shake them. So I began to think about them all the time. Eventually I came to a revelation about my own personal faith. Its true, I don't believe in God, Allah, Shiva, or any other supreme being. However, I do believe in humanity. I believe in the destiny of the human civilization. There have been too many accidents and too many coincidences for me to accept the human existence as a cosmic footnote. We are meant to be here and we have something to accomplish.

But then I thought some more. How can we accomplish these goals if we never stop fighting with each other? How can we achieve our destinies if we violate each others basic rights as human beings? How can we become who we were meant to be if the majority of our time is spent killing and maiming our own people? It makes no sense. I finally realized that action must be taken. We must make social change for the benefit of humanity. Not for the benefit of America, or Britian, or Iraq, but for the benefit of us all. One human degradation and we lose all the claim to humanity we so eagerly make. One unnecessary death and we are no more base than any other animal.

That is what Mr. Seevak gave me. Without Mr. Seevak I would still be that bystanding kid caught up in his own self conceit. But Mr. Seevak created a program that challenged me to my core; that changed me in every way. Now I don't just seek to exist, I seek to improve. It is with a deep regret that I never got to thank him personally, however by remembering what he gave me, and what he has given to many generations of Latin School students we can strive to bring Mr. Seevak's world vision to reality.

Ian S. Dyer-Bennem '07

Matt Su:

Posted on August 20, 2007 05:51 PM

Like so many of the others who have posted before me, I have only had the chance of meeting Mr. Seevak in passing. Despite this, his generosity and passion for the FHAO program has had a significant impact on my life. Without his support, I would not have had the opportunity to go to Eastern Europe, a trip that contributed significantly to the way I view the world. While Mr. Seevak may have climbed to the top of the corporate world, he never forgot where he came from, and the greater BLS community has benefited as a result.

Like the amazing individuals we have studied in FHAO, Mr. Seevak shows that one person can change the world for the better.


Matt Su ’06

Samantha Curtis:

Posted on August 20, 2007 08:13 PM

Facing History has truly molded me into an empowered citizen, cautious of prejudice in the world and no longer a bystander. Earlier this year, I was able to attend a benefit for Physicians for Human Rights thanks to Mr. Seevak. I met doctors from around the world who devote their careers to human rights. Conversing with these individuals who have enacted so much positive change was empowering to me, and has motivated me to pursue my dreams. The benefit was an incredible experience that I will never forget. I am so grateful for the love and compassion Mr. Seevak devoted to Boston Latin. His dedication lives on in all the good deeds that the students of BLS do.

My prayers go out to Mr. Seevak and his family.

Samantha Curtis '08


Posted on August 20, 2007 09:02 PM

I am truly honored to have been able to meet such a wonderful man like Mr. Seevak. Although I have only met him once, in the past Seevak competition, I felt that his support was to me one of the most magnificent things that he gave my team of 8th graders. We were inexperienced and lost, but his smile and encouragement helped us pull through and enjoy the wonderful experience.

BLS has lost a wonderful member, but I am sure that Mr. Seevak's legacy will go on. He has touched so many students and teachers alike.

My sympathies go out to Mr. Seevak's family

Olive Tang '11

Susannah Sirkin:

Posted on August 20, 2007 09:07 PM

Sheldon Seevak has left the greatest legacy a person can hope for: legions of inspired young people with values and inspiration that can change lives and the world. Through his remarkable support of Facing History at Boston Latin and the unique Seevak Competition project, Mr. Seevak has passed on his passion for justice and for teaching tolerance to many hundreds of students. As a parent privileged to have had two children in the Facing course, I can testify to its power. It has shaped my daughters' world views and I know will influence their ideas and actions throughout their lives. As a Competition judge for the past five years, I have also witnessed Sheldon's exuberance and pride in the student websites and the lives made vivid through internet technology and original research. Watching him "kvell" during the Washington trip and at the 10th Anniversary of the Competition was wonderful.

Sheldon's devotion to these projects and his personal investment in every phase of the work are rare in philanthropy. His deep belief in the transformative capacity of education in human rights and social justice through meaningful encounters with history and current events is even more special. He will be sorely missed, though his legacy will no doubt endure. "The memory of the righteous is a blessing".

Susannah Sirkin
Deputy Director
Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, MA

Franklin Ho:

Posted on August 20, 2007 10:23 PM

I was only able to meet Mr. Seevak a few times in passing but each time I did there was always a sincere curiosity and warmth that came from him. To me that exemplified him. He cared so much about the students he gave to, even if he didn't know them that well.

His influence spanned the most important parts of my time at Boston Latin and I know that a significant part of my experience in Facing History and Ourselves was possible because of his charity. His foresight has helped produce a generation of conscientious people and I am absolutely sure that his legacy will continue to do so.

I only wish I had spoken to him more and gotten to know such a great and giving man. But I can only live with the memory of his caring smile and the knowledge that his optimism and willingness to give has made me a better person than I could ever become without him.

From reading all of these tributes it is clear he has changed the world and inspired others to do so. There is no doubting that he has left the world a better place than when he entered it and I think it will continue to advance because of him.

Thank you Mr. Seevak for everything you've given to me, the students of BLS, and the world.

Franklin Ho '05

Ifeoma Onuorah:

Posted on August 21, 2007 01:43 AM

Today I write this with great sadness. Mr. Seevak, though he may not have known it, played a great role in my life during and to some extent, after my days at Boston Latin School. I was not really sure what to feel when I read the news of Mr. Seevak's passing. I experienced two emotions. One being that I was doleful about the news and the other being happiness, in the fact that in Mr. Seevak's lifetime he accomplished so much. He set in motion a project that has changed the lives of many people that attended Boston Latin School; and that can potentially, in the future, be a catalyst to social change and enlightenment to thousands of people across the globe.

I began my long relationship with the Seevak Website Competition when I was in the 8th grade. Since that time I have learned so much thanks to Mr. Seevak's care and support. I learned things that to this day I still am able to utilize. I also bear a sense of awareness in my local and global society pertaining to attempting to better humanity as a whole. This is an attribute that I treasure very much in my young adulthood and fear that I may not have acquired if it were not for Mr. Seevak's efforts.

In my period at Boston Latin School I met Mr. Seevak on several occasions and he always made an effort to say hello to not only me, but my fellow Seevakers and classmates as well. He always struck me as a very compassionate and caring man, and most of the time I couldn't help but saying thank you. And in in Mr. Seevak's passing I can not help but saying thank you. Thank you Mr. Seevak for all that you have done, not only for me, but for society. Thank you Mr. Seevak for being the great man that you were and caring enough to try and make a change.

Mr. Seevak you will surely be missed. I certainly miss the fact that the world has lost a great man like yourself. I can only hope that your efforts set a trend for many young people in the future.

May you rest in eternal peace.

Ifeoma Onuorah '06

Ada Lin:

Posted on August 21, 2007 09:55 AM

I remember, as a sixie, I used to pass by Mrs. Freeman's room during my studies and wish I were in there taking part in the discussions. Late night conversations between my sister and I always ended up about FHAO, human rights, and how we planned to make changes one day. Without Mr. Seevak's devotion to BLS, I don't think I would have had a chance to learn about these things and form my own opinions.

Mr. Seevak, thank you for inspiring us to question our world and thank you for understanding that we, as students, never were and never will be too young to think.


Ada Lin '10

Alec Mauré:

Posted on August 21, 2007 10:09 AM

While I never had the opportunity to formally meet Mr. Seevak and shake his hand, the times I saw him come to visit the Seevak computer lab, I instantly got the feeling he was full of only generosity and concern for the students. He has done a great service to the school and every student who enjoys the benefits of his kindness.

Alec Maure '07

John Ferris:

Posted on August 21, 2007 01:28 PM

Mr. Seevak's generosity has given countless students the unique opportunity to enjoy what education was always meant to be; the Facing History and Ourselves course has changed perspectives and changed lives in such a vast and meaningful way that I truly expect it to change communities and society itself as well. The seeds for social progress are often planted in the individual, and Mr. Seevak has touched hundreds upon hundreds of individual lives.

I know my worldview changed dramatically after traversing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the historical sites of actual concentration camps. Due in part to Mr. Seevak's caring, I have discovered how infinitely important human rights are, and I've taken to heart the moral imperative we all have to try and stop and prevent violations of those rights.

I did not know Mr. Seevak well, but I do know that while the world has lost a very good man, for whom we must grieve, his legacy and good works will continue in the hearts and minds of those he touched.

-John Ferris, '02

Jane Newbold, '07:

Posted on August 21, 2007 03:11 PM

I want to be 'Mr. Seevak'
when I grow up
(though I think I'll skip
the necessary gender change)

People were open at his funeral,
Determined to articulate,
to share some of the essence
he gave so freely,
the ember of him that stoked their hearts

Having only shook his hand,
and seen him across the room,
I wonder if I would know
him if I found him
on Facebook, or sat by him on
the train.

Perhaps we have already met
again today--
the stranger who said, "I'm sorry
for your loss,"
the mentor who gripped my hand,
the friend who understood.

I want to go learn
some multivariable calculus
or call my grandmother on
the phone.

I want to tell him
of bike rides,
of hills,
until the worst is past

I think he already knows
the one I am still learning--
"to strive, to seek, to find, and
not to yield"

it echoes quietly in the spaces
between the guests now filing
out to their cars
following the casket to a place of rest.

Ave valeque, Mr. Seevak--
Ashes to ashes
Life to life

Jane Newbold '07

Jessica Freeman-Slade:

Posted on August 21, 2007 05:25 PM

It is impossible for me to describe the profound impact Shelley Seevak had on my life, both through his endless enthusiasm and support for my mother's work at Boston Latin and through his and Ellie's tireless encouragement of me.

I have told people countless times about the amazing work going on in Facing History at Boston Latin, the incredible things students get to study, content most high schools and many colleges never approach in terms of its constant examination of vitally important issues. Every person has said, "Man, I wish I had something that good when I was in high school." Though I give a lot of credit to my amazing mom, such a class would never have existed without Shelley Seevak. In supporting my mother in all her hair-brained teaching schemes, he has made her twice as cool as she ever was, and he has enabled her to give her students everything: the freedom of a creative, ever-expanding curriculum; life-changing travel opportunities; the best technology to support world-class web design; the ability to ask important questions while in high school, the best time to ask them.

He and his wonderful wife Ellie also supported me as I moved to New York and looked for work in the publishing world. They knew how to put me in touch with the right people at the right time, and to encourage me to pursue the best opportunities possible. It was with their guidance that, rather than working at a famous magazine where I would go unnoticed, I went to a smaller book publisher that directly led to the wonderful job I have now. They made me feel completely at home in a city where so many people feel rootless and without direction.

Most importantly, Shelley was unceasingly supportive of my family, through good times and the worst of times. His unceasing kindness, his generosity, his wonderful sense of humor, and his deep belief in our human obligation to make the world better than when we entered it--for all of these things, my family will miss him terribly.

Jessica Freeman-Slade

Kelly Taylor:

Posted on August 21, 2007 07:09 PM

Like every one of the former FHAO students who have posted here, I have benefited immensely from the endless generosity of Mr. Seevak. I took Facing History as a junior, a year that began with the events of September 11th. I was on the inaugural Eastern Europe trip and traveled to DC and the USHMM twice. Ms. Freeman’s class had a profound effect on me and the way I view the choices I make with my life. I believe every major decision I have made since taking Facing History has been somehow influenced by my time in the course.

Mr. Seevak enjoyed so thoroughly sitting in on an FHAO class, watching the website presentations, keeping up with former students. He had such a special ability to touch the lives of the students who met him and he taught me so much about the nature of generosity and commitment. When I competed in the Seevak Website Competition as a junior and the judges could not choose between two teams for third place, Mr. Seevak unquestioningly put up the additional $750 so that students on both teams could receive the scholarship money.

It was such an honor when Ms. Freeman would tell me she had been speaking with Mr. Seevak and that he had asked after me. His ability to remember and inquire after students has had lasting effects on many of us. I have spent some time thinking about what I wanted to say about Mr. Seevak here, and I have repeatedly checked the thesaurus attempting to find a word that expresses how complete and total his generosity was. It was far more than financial in the endowment of the Facing History course at BLS. Mr. Seevak’s programs went beyond just teaching students about history or technology and challenged them to think critically about moral dilemmas, question their beliefs, and ultimately, I think, gain a newfound faith in our shared humanity. This gift of FHAO has changed the nature of the school and the students it produces. His dedication to and love of the students at BLS was so genuine and I have always been inspired by how Mr. Seevak became so connected to the FHAO and LTQ community at Boston Latin.

A couple months after arriving in New York City for college, I was again the recipient of the Seevak’s generosity when they invited me to be their guest at an FHAO benefit dinner. When I think of that night, I have this one particularly fond memory of Mr. Seevak that has stayed with me. Etiquette dictated that we not begin eating a course until a presentation had finished on stage and as the final presentation was beginning to conclude, dessert was being placed on our table. This amazing cake sat untouched in front of us as the speaker continued on and I watched as Mr. Seevak slyly leaned over and took this piece of chocolate garnish off the top of his cake and ate it with his fingers. As I looked at him and he smiled back at me, I was struck at that moment by the thought that I had never encountered Mr. Seevak without a smile on his face. I admired Mr. Seevak so much for the commitment he gave to everything he did, but I admired him even more for the enjoyment and happiness he took from everything he did.

I was fortunate to thank Mr. Seevak for all that he did for me on a number of occasions, but it never felt like enough. I am filled with regret for passing up the opportunity last May to head back to BLS for the ten year anniversary of the Seevak Website Competition.

I will forever be a better person because of Mr. Seevak. Knowing he might be reading a post or ask Ms. Freeman about me always pushed me to give more of myself to everything I did. Mr. Seevak is someone I will never forget and, I think, someone whose expectations I will forever be trying to live up to.

Kelly Taylor '03

Barry Tomasini:

Posted on August 21, 2007 08:11 PM

There is really no way to express the profound impact that Mr. Seevak had on my life. I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with him several times throughout my experience as a FHAO student and in my two years of completing the Seevak competition.

He always greeted me, as he did every FHAO or BLS student, with a wide smile and sincere look of happiness in his face; he must have known that he was changing my life, as well as the lives of so many others, through his endless generosity and boundless compassion.

I'd like to express my sincerest condolences to Mrs. Seevak and the Seevak family, and I hope to offer whatever comfort I can in the form of this Latin prayer from my Catholic faith:
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

"Thank you," and "goodbye," Mr. Seevak, may you rest knowing the profound impact that you had on me and on so many others. Because of you, I have learned to question.

Barry Tomasini '07

Pat Meade:

Posted on August 21, 2007 09:26 PM

There aren't many people in the world who do a lot to make the world a better place to live in. Mr. Seevak was one of those few, and he will be sorely missed.

Although I never personally met Mr. Seevak, I will always appreciate the positive effect he had on the world around him, and particularly on the young minds who took Facing History and Ourselves. The class opened my eyes, and the eyes of many others, to the injustices of the past and of the present. Because of that class, we all now have a desire to make things better, and it's thanks to Mr. Seevak that I had the experience I did last year.

He will be sorely missed, and hopefully many of us Facing History alums will change the world in the kind of way that he did. May he rest in peace.

Patrick Meade '07

Rea Dado:

Posted on August 21, 2007 10:03 PM

I never met Mr. Seevak, but I know that he has done a great deal for the facing history class and the Seevak competition. I took Facing History this year as a junior, and it opened my mind to many atrocities that have occurred. I learned things that one could not learn from a history book.

Facing History had such a great impact on me this year and I consider myself lucky to have been able to take this course. All Facing History students are lucky to have been given this opportunity.

Thank you so much, Mr. Seevak, for this amazing experience.

Rea Dado '08

Jimmy Meade:

Posted on August 21, 2007 10:21 PM

Mr. Seevak was a great man. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him personally, the impact he left on me and a countless number of other students will last for a long long time.

Facing History has probably been one of the most important classes I've taken so far. It has helped me to look at things differently and learn of different parts of history I was unaware of. Many of the issues covered in class were things I had either only a precursory knowledge of, or none at all. With Mr. Seevak's support for the Facing History class, I know that he helped me, my classmates, and other students of the past, present, and future, and I thank him for that.

James Meade '07

Stephanie Chan:

Posted on August 21, 2007 11:04 PM

Many of the students who take Facing History and Ourselves say that it's the most important class at Boston Latin School. It's one of those life-changing courses, not in just how much one learns, but in how one sees the world. Facing History tells us that we all have a part to play in this world and that standing by is not acceptable. Without Mr. Seevak, there would be no Facing History at BLS. Without FHAO, there would be no one to tell us that the power to make a difference in this world is in our hands.

I will be forever grateful to Mr. Seevak for making it possible for me, as well as all the alumni and future students, to take Facing History. I have the utmost respect for him for his optimism and belief that we can make the world a better place.

I am also extremely thankful to Mr. Seevak for creating the Seevak website competition. While competing in the Seevak project for two years, I learned that many of the people the websites are dedicated to came from ordinary backgrounds and started out with ordinary lives. Knowing that they were once like me-- curious and hungry for a better world-- has further stressed to me that anyone can make a difference.

Though he will be sorely missed, Mr. Seevak's legacy will always live on and continue to touch and inspire others.

Stephanie Chan '07

Jessenia Urrea:

Posted on August 22, 2007 12:18 AM

Mr. Seevak is a kind man to the children of my generation. He made the Facing History classes at BLS possible, and because of him my classmates and I can study the past to ensure certain mistakes never occur again in our future. I believe that, above all things, he directly taught the meaning of compassion to us.

It's hard to make an apathetic teenager believe that she can make a difference in any form, but he did. When I worked on my Seevak website, I learned of individuals who pursued a just cause all their lives, even when they stood all alone for their beliefs, that I can't wait to work as a doctor for those in dire need. His zeal for love and compassion, which spread to Ms. Freeman, which spread to us, has made an immense and lasting change in our lives.

Jessenia Urrea '07

Susan Shian:

Posted on August 22, 2007 12:40 AM

I know that Mr. Seevak has a great heart and spirit because of his actions. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Seevak but he will be dearly missed and remembered for his accomplishments by everyone.

Facing History And Ourselves is not just a course in history but a journey into ourselves in what we can do as individuals and as forces together to not let history repeat itself, to not see ourselves as bystanders. Mr. Seevak was not a bystander. He was truly invested in our future, in our humanity, by wanting to inform the minds of the youth to change the world when there is no one else but ourselves.

Mr. Seevak has left behind the opportunity of knowledge for many more students to continue to learn and question the past and the present. I am fortunate to have learned so much because of you Mr. Seevak. You are the ultimate example of kindness, of generosity, and of humanity. Thank You.

Susan Shian '07

Estepha Francisque:

Posted on August 22, 2007 01:21 PM

In the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, Solomon talks much about the futility of life and the inevitability of death. However, Mr. Seevak went above and beyond a simple, aimless life to change lives, change the way I think and feel, and change the world. He showed me that caring for the little guy is not a matter of a drop in the ocean, but that your actions add up. He showed me the unselfishness that Jesus asked for from the rich young ruler, and he continues to be an inspiration to me, and even though I cannot bring him back to life, as much as I wish to, I surely will pick up the torch and carry on doing my part to fulfill his noble mission. He truly blessed others throughout his lifetime and his living was not in vain.

Estepha Francisque '06

Quinnie Lin:

Posted on August 22, 2007 03:36 PM

Mr. Seevak’s smiling, steady presence has made an enormous difference to the lives of countless many BLS students. Thinking back, if I had not participated in the Seevak website competition when I was in 10th grade, I might not have taken Facing History, which effectively changed and shaped my life decisions in so many ways. Mr. Seevak’s legacy of generosity, his incredible capacity for empathy, as well as his sense of responsibility toward humanity will continue to live on in the actions and decisions of thousands of students who have been touched by his presence. His generosity and overwhelming compassion will continue to become manifest in many aspects of our future lives – and we will most definitely pass them on to others in our own ways. I am (and will forever remain) incredibly grateful to Mr. Seevak.

Quinnie (Qingni) Lin '05

Theresa Cleary:

Posted on August 24, 2007 04:43 AM

I just can't think of a metaphor good enough to describe Sheldon Seevak's incredible impact on all who pass through Boston Latin. I was at first going to compare his legacy to the whole "rock dropped in water" image, where all the ripples reach out and eventually cover an entire lake. Then I thought, perhaps it is more like a map, beginning at one place and branching out, touching roads and highways that branch off and lead to even more destinations. But whatever metaphor I try to use, it all comes down to this-Sheldon Seevak has changed more lives than he probably even knew of.

By beginning the Facing History class at BLS, he has changed the lives and opened the minds of countless people. Just think-about 150 students have taken that class every year since it has been in existence, and each of those students was touched in some way. Some became involved in Human Rights organizations in high school and college, some have helped donate to a cause, some have even gone to other countries to put what they learned in FHAO to practice (such as Jacob Boer)-but perhaps most importantly, every student that walked into that classroom left it a different and better person and, hopefully, has gone on to change others' hearts as well. Every time a current or former FHAO student told someone else what they learned or gave of themselves to help their fellow man, Mr. Seevak's generosity has helped someone who never even took the class.

I took Facing History as a junior two years ago and had the honor of meeting Mr. Seevak once, though I had seen him on other occasions. What stood out the most about him was his happiness. He did not have one of those smiles that only permeates the surface, and he was not at all hardened by age. His whole face lit up and then you just knew-he never did anything he did for himself. Everything he gave was for US, the students. He really and honestly believed in every one of us, and I must say it really means something to be believed in. He had the unique idea that maybe, just maybe, young people ARE the ones who can change the world.

With the generosity, vision, and heart of Sheldon Seevak (and not to mention the inspiration and teaching of Judi Freeman), hundreds of students and countless other people in our community and around the world are better people. Perhaps Mr. Seevak didn't realize how huge the Facing History program would become, but I think he did know what the result of it would be. Because of all I learned in this class and on my trips to Washington D.C. and Eastern Europe, I know that right now the world is a hellish place to be-but thanks to Facing History, every FHAO student is determined that, in time, it WILL NOT be.

Theresa Cleary '07

Margot Stern Strom:

Posted on August 24, 2007 09:03 AM

Shelley Seevak loved kids. He was a graduate of Boston Latin and as an alumnus made sure that all children who followed him to Boston Latin would have the privilege of a great education while learning that giving back is a responsibility--an act of love.

That night he showed up at a Facing History presentation for Board and parents held in a private school library in NYC. He was attentive and thoughtful and then the spark of Shelley creativity ignited. He loved the presenter and calculated the good Facing History could do in this world. Our work together began there. He masterminded and endowed a partnership with Facing History and Ourselves and Boston Latin. He stewarded the relationship. He and Ellie, his wife, were in partnership on everything. They attended meetings, went to classes, came up with special projects for kids. He loved the Facing History teachers. “Aren’t they amazing? Did you see that lesson? Did you hear that student?” He endowed the computer lab and instructor for the Facing History class. The Boston Latin outstanding website, designed and supported by students, resulted in The Facing History and Ourselves course became so popular and attracted so many students. Then we assigned Chris Idzik full time to Boston Latin so we could partner to create the Facing History model year long class and reach all of the over two hundred students eager to sign up. We attracted the evaluators and the visitors and the attention of the Boston Latin Foundation. Shelley beamed and Boston Latin Foundation honored him for this contribution of Facing History and Ourselves to the school.

When Judi Freeman, once the student teacher in the first Facing History classes, was appointed to lead teacher, the course continued to develop under her leadership. She was a talented art historian. She loved to teach with technology. She put her students first, was a favorite with the parents and the Seevaks. Judi took the Facing History and Ourselves kids to new places worldwide, virtually and in person and displayed their talents in the annual Seevak Award presentations. Students, in teams, created websites on people who chose to participate and whose work changed the world for the better. Shelley made sure Facing History was involved in the judging and that we were recognized for our contributions. Ellie and Shelley smile back from the photo on the website for these awards and the projects serve as models for Facing History teachers worldwide.

Shelley called one day with a great idea for a higher education partnership. What can his alumni gift to Harvard Law School do to strengthen the work of Facing History and Ourselves and Harvard University? We took the idea of Choosing to Participate and with the support of the Dean at the Law School, we recruited Professor Martha Minow, a professor at Harvard Law School and a member of our board to co-chair a project that would support our common mission to help students at the Law School and in Facing History classes partner to create new resources for Facing History and Ourselves. Just this month, we launched the Making History Series in print, a case called Totally Unofficial: Raphael Lemkin and the Genocide Convention. In addition this Harvard Law School and Facing History project has supported speakers, community events and a major conference at Harvard Law School, “Pursuing Human Dignity: The Legacies of Nuremberg for International Law, Human Rights, and Education,” which many of our board attended. As I write, we are planning the next conference for November 2008.

Shelley supported partnerships that made change. Shelley funded our earliest technology projects and took special pride in the web work. Shelley and Ellie participated in Facing History board trips. Ellie was on our board and Shelley and Ellie became family. They were loved by their colleagues on the board and staff. In fact, they introduced us to many of our present Facing History board members. He attended our benefits; he introduced us to his family in San Francisco and his family in Boston and New York. He sheltered us, nourished us, personally and professionally. It will be very hard to know there will be no more emails from Shelley. He had the highest standards and expectations and the biggest smile.

Recently he dropped in on the David and Nina Fialkow reception for the teacher awards created in my name. Tears flowed as the serendipity of Shelley’s visit, David and Nina’s belief in honoring teachers and our staff all came together to value teachers who have the courage to teach. So many will miss Shelley.

Margot Stern Strom
Executive Director, Facing History and Ourselves

Howard Lurie:

Posted on August 24, 2007 09:05 AM

I first met Shelley Seevak in 1999, during conversations about early versions of, as well as Facing History's websites. In later years, I had the good fortune of being in conversations with Shelley, Judi, and others about students and the web.

I was always struck by his genuine excitement and care which he brought to all of our projects.

Thankfully, his wisdom and kindness will live on through the work of so many students at BLS and in Facing History classes around the world.

Howard Lurie
Facing History and Ourselves

Maria Rocha-Buschel:

Posted on August 24, 2007 10:48 PM

Although I was not personally familiar with Mr. Seevak, I admired his contributions and his commitment to Facing History and the Seevak website competition. Throughout my time in the class and participating in the website competition, Mr. Seevak's name would pop up and I was surprised to hear that he was still so involved with the program and that he invested so much time in us public school kids. Facing History is the most important class I've taken in my educational career, and his dedication to it and the students who took it was unbelievable. I also participated in the Seevak website competition, which gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of those who care about humanity enough to help make it better. He indirectly introduced me to a passion I didn't know I had, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Maria Rocha-Buschel '06

Caitlin Gianniny:

Posted on August 25, 2007 03:25 PM

Having not made it to the funeral service and wanting to express the thanks I felt for Shelley Seevak's work, I wrote a short note that should have been sent some time ago.

Dear Mr. Seevak,

Perhaps I should have written you this letter before.
Had it occurred to me, perhaps I would have.
But, I do believe that it is still worth telling you what I should have said before.

Never have I encountered one class before or after, that I can pinpoint as having had such a profound impact on its students, as Facing History did.

I watched students, myself included, struggle with the complex subject matter. We felt that what we were studying and learning was serious and worth as much attention as we could give it.

To treat such heavy and intense subject matter in a less than serious manner, was beyond most high schoolers' often lackadaisical attitudes, although humor was always necessary.

We wanted to understand, but had to learn to not be paralyzed by the material of the course. Ms. Freeman always said that having a sense of humor was a prerequisite for the class. Without it, the sheer mass and severity of our studies would be unbearable.

Thank you for understanding what an important role this course would take in the development of so many young peoples' lives.

What's the use of all the information in the world, without the ability to think critically and the ability to be open to other perspectives?

As the name denoted, the course went far beyond the bounds of a usual history course. And this, I believe was largely due to the wonderful professor we were lucky enough to have in Judi Freeman and the partnership that brought us so many opportunities through the FHAO program. It was clear to me, discussing the course with friends studying it in other schools, that we had been given a great gift.

I'm sorry I had not thought to tell you this before.

Most gratefully,

Caitlin Gianniny '04

Sara Bloomfield:

Posted on August 25, 2007 06:30 PM

Days before he died, Shelley Seevak was happily surrounded by a group of gregarious and grateful teachers assembled from across the US, eagerly sharing with him one extraordinary story after another about the remarkable impact they have had on their students. Most adults—if they are lucky enough—can talk about a teacher who changed their life. Shelley Seevak understood that only a few, very gifted and committed teachers ever have that power. And he cared deeply about the fundamental issues of human dignity and democratic values. Combining these two ideals, he had a vision for national Holocaust education led by America’s finest teaching professionals. There was but this brief moment to thank Shelley. But we will always thank Shelley.

Sara Bloomfield
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC

Benjamin R. Naimark-Rowse:

Posted on August 27, 2007 08:16 AM

One of my most memorable moments during my senior year at Latin was one afternoon when the Facing History classes piled into the library for a talk by Richard Goldstone, at the time, a Justice on the South African Constitutional Court. I was thrilled to hear Justice Goldstone speak. I tried to imagine South Africa, a place where four decades of Apartheid ended with a peaceful transition to democracy AND the enshrining of some seemingly nebulous, judicially ‘unenforceable’ rights to such things as a house and health care. I was fascinated. After the talk I stood transfixed as I shook Justice Goldstone’s hand and then the hand of a man introduced as Sheldon Seevak.

What I didn’t fully appreciate at the time was that Shelley was as transfixed during that talk as I was, not on Justice Goldstone, but on us, the students. Its not that he wasn’t interested in the freedom struggle in South Africa -- it was as I learned more deeply since that day in the library, that he had a passion for helping young enthusiastic minds learn to question and to become personally involved in the freedom struggles of our own time. It was a passion which I will always remember not just because of its intensity but also because it always came with a huge smile.

I feel honored to have had a chance to work with and get to know Shelley and his wife Ellie over the past year. With Judi Freeman and fellow Latin alumni we created a summer fellowship program for Facing History students at Latin. The Fellowship which will host its first class in summer 2008 is a period of experiential learning in which students engage their historical knowledge in context and contribute personally to the work of prominent human rights and social justice organizations. Whenever I met with Shelley or spoke with him by email about the project, I was always impressed by his own drive to question the need for and viability of the project. His primary concern always seemed to boil down to ‘What will the students REALLY get out of this Fellowship?’ He always insisted that if the project was going to happen, that it be on solid footing and that it be great. He was not one to expend blindly his own energy or money –- or that of others. My strongest admiration for Shelley came from these interactions; he held himself to the same principles that he sought to teach others. He truly was the change that he wanted to see in the world.

Yet as accomplished as Shelley was, he was one of those rare people who managed to remain humble and genuine. He exuded warmth and affection in such a way that the sincerity of his work was never in doubt. I loved and was privileged to be close with all of my grandparents but if I could have had a fifth grandparent, I would have wanted that person to be Shelley.

There is no question that Shelley’s vision and passion for human rights and social justice lives on in the hundreds of students who have ‘Seevaked’ -- the term made up by students and attainable only by taking Facing History, participating in the website competition or otherwise being engaged in any of the myriad of Facing History activities at Boston Latin which Shelley so generously supported with his time, his vision, his personal funds and his heart. He will be remembered as a mentor and a wonderfully caring and accomplished gentleman. He has long been admired and he is already sorely missed.

Ben Naimark-Rowse '99

Richard Berry Fulton:

Posted on August 27, 2007 02:23 PM

I am truly grieved to learn of the passing of Mr. Seevak, a true friend of the Latin School and of all who knew him. I am grateful for the opportunity to have known him and worked with him in initiating Facing History at Boston Latin School. I shall never forget how he personally received us on the trips to Washington D.C., and how he personally attended and personally read every student entry in the Facing History competitions. He has contributed significantly and generously to our school, to our curriculum, and to also whose lives he touched. This is his legacy.

What a Guy! What a great guy.

Richard Berry Fulton
Assistant Headmaster (retired)
Boston Latin School

Stephen Feinberg:

Posted on August 27, 2007 04:11 PM

Shelley Seevak had an enormous impact on many people. Anyone who worked with Shelley knew how extraordinary was his vision, how gracious and honest was his manner, and how powerful were his ideals. Three weeks ago, Shelley spent an exciting day at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with some of the most outstanding educators who teach about the Holocaust. A great deal of their work had been made possible through Shelley’s vision and remarkable generosity.

After he had he listened to the teachers speak of the incredible impact they have had on their students, Shelley told me that he was very happy and overwhelmed by the stories the teachers told. He kept telling me that one person can have a major impact by simply caring about others, and he was proud, very proud, of the individual achievements of these particular caring teachers. We all thanked Shelley and we are all so very glad we did. We shall miss him very much.

Stephen Feinberg
Director of National Outreach
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Michael Baskin:

Posted on August 27, 2007 07:27 PM

Mr. Seevak made possible a class that has changed my life. His constant support of the Facing History program gave me an opportunity to learn, experience and feel more about the other people with whom I share the world. He provided me with a venue to express myself and in that process discover more about myself and my relation to the world around me.

Mr. Seevak did this not just for me or a select few, but rather for hundreds of students. Now, because of Mr. Seevak, I can go into the world feeling better about the possibility for change; change that he started through his support of education.

Michael Baskin '07

Gina M. Bruno:

Posted on August 28, 2007 11:34 AM

At a funeral some years ago, I remember the pastor telling those in attendance that death was not a time for sadness, but rather a time for joy. In death, we celebrate life and Shelley Seevak's life deserves a celebration far greater than anything any of use can offer.

Like many others, I also enrolled in Facing History with Ms. Freeman in 2000. Now, seven years later, I am still exceptionally grateful for Mr. Seevak's generosity to BLS and his true, undying passion for social justice. Still, to this day, I live the lessons I learned from Facing History and strive to "pay forward" the enthusiasm, dedication and determination to do what is right that he taught us all.

As a judge in the 2005 website competition, I had a few moments to talk with Mr. and Mrs. Seevak and was struck most by the admiration and love he had for students and learning. Watching each team member present his or work, Mr. Seevak was like a proud father to each student, to each project. In a time when history seems like a hassle to many students, Mr. Seevak made history real and made our contributions, however small, feel like they could change the world. Thanks to him, I still feel that way.

Gina M. Bruno '01

Anne Mackin Krieger:

Posted on September 1, 2007 02:09 PM

The Facing History course at Boston Latin changed my daughter's life, through both the classroom learning and discussions; computer-enabled dialogues with youth of other nations; and two astounding field trips. It nurtured her sense of social justice, oriented her toward the international scene, and helped her to call forth some latent leadership potential. I had no idea we owed so much of this rich experience to one generous and visionary individual. Mr. Seevak and his family have our profound gratitude for making this life-altering experience possible for so many young people. It's an ingenious plan for making the world a better place.

Anne Mackin Krieger

Evan Mehler:

Posted on September 1, 2007 10:46 PM

Throughout my entire undergraduate career, I thought about what I could study or what I could create to put what I had learned in Facing History to good use. For awhile I studied photo journalism, with the intention of becoming a war photographer. When I eventually decided to major in theater, my focus was the work of Arthur Miller, and my senior project was directing Incident at Vichy, a play set in occupied France.

The effect that Facing History has had on me has continued to last nearly five years after I took the course. It was the inspiration for my essay when I applied and got accepted to grad school. Mr. Seevak's seemingly limitless generosity will continue to motivate me to make the world a better place to live. I can only hope for the opportunity to give to others what he has given to me and so many of my peers.

Evan Mehler '03

Libia Torres:

Posted on September 5, 2007 09:57 PM

I wasn't a student. I was his housekeeper and for 15 years I learned from him what sharing, giving and compassion mean.

I'll always remember him as a father. He contributed to the education funds for my two sons and he always encouraged me to teach them that education is the key for success.

I will miss your guidance, Mr. Seevak, and I will never forget you. Thanks for letting me know you!

Libia Torres

Camlinh To:

Posted on September 9, 2007 09:24 AM

When I first heard of the Seevak Website Competition, I remember being very excited because it was a way to integrate one of my currant skills - webdesigning, into learning. I was in the eighth grade with two of my other colleagues, we were working to find a person for our topic. Along the way, I was brought a bit closer to my group and my adviser. I can't describe how the experience has impacted me.
My colleague, again, wanted me to join the Seevak competition again this year. And today, after having read Ms. Freeman's email about Mr. Seevak, I was at a loss for words.

The Seevak Website Competition expanded the way I think about the world. It also expanded the way I think about heroes in our world. I have no doubt that Mr. Seevak was one of our heroes. He saw a bright future in Boston Latin students when he created this program out his immense generosity.

LearntoQuestion was a big opportunity for me and other students. I'm glad I got to know a bit about Mr. Seevak before he left. It is a tragic loss for Boston Latin School and his family.

To families - My Sympathies, but rest assured, Mr. Seevak will not be forgotten.

And thank you Mr. Seevak, I wish more students could have met you in person.

Camlinh To '10

Carolann Costello:

Posted on September 9, 2007 05:40 PM

Dear Mrs. Seevak and the Seevak family,

I can't tell you how upset I was when I saw the article about Mr. Seevak's death in the paper. Even though I never met him, my daughter Lauren was lucky enough to take "Facing History" at BLS...a course which profoundly influenced her thinking....and provided us with many animated dinnertime conversations, as many nights Lauren couldn't wait to tell us about her class. I feel like I watched her "grow up" before my eyes during that school year. She could discuss historical events with a passion and an intelligence that amazed me. Just recently, she was in church and the priest was talking about Father Maximilien Kolbe...and Lauren had seen his cell in Auschwitz, thanks to Facing History and the Eastern Europe trip. I know she felt Mr. Seevak's presence in the course, as she was very aware of the fact that he read the postings on the website on a regular basis.

From a personal perspective, I wanted to say how grateful I was for her educational experience. I learned so much from listening to her nightly reports from class, and began to develop the courage to "face history" myself. Before Facing History, it was too painful for me to know details about certain historical events, but somehow through the course of the year, I too gained the courage to be more informed. We recently went to the Holocaust Museum in DC and I'm so glad we did.

I couldn't help but think of the expression "to teach is to touch a life forever" and couldn't help but wonder how many countless students (and adults) benefited from his generosity and passion. Some experiences leave you changed for the better...forever. Facing History was one of those experiences for us as a family....thanks to Mr. Seevak.

Carolann Costello

Jesse J. Southwick:

Posted on October 21, 2007 10:54 AM

Over my last nine years teaching at BLS, I have observed, from different distances, the profound impact Mr. Seevak has made on our school, on our students' and teachers' lives, on our souls, really. I only had a few short conversations with Mr. Seevak himself, but I have shared classroom space with FHAO classes, advised students in the website competition, and chaperoned the Eastern Europe trip. Also, I have been fortunate to work with many of the amazing young people who flowered and grew so much because of these programs. The FHAO programs at BLS have blessed hundreds of students with deeper wisdom, care for humanity, and seriousness of purpose. Many of the alums, from Jacob Bor '01 to Abby Brown '07 and countless others, have emerged from FHAO as thoughtful and caring leaders for humanity. Some will go on to change the world and make profound impacts for good, as Mr. Seevak did. All will be more wise and caring citizens of our society.

Let us all commit ourselves to being that small group of people, people inspired by Sheldon Seevak, who work to change the world.

If I thought I was going to die tomorrow, I should nevertheless plant a tree today. ~Stephan Girard

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives. ~Tracy Chapman

Martha Minow:

Posted on November 1, 2007 11:40 AM

Shedon Seevak had unparalleled and spirited curiosity, passion, and generosity.

His passion for social justice had an immediate connection to real human beings; his delight in his family infused his delight in the students at Boston Latin, and at Harvard Law School. His vision enabled the Facing History initiative here which continues to support student and faculty work to understand and work to prevent genocide and to strengthen democracy with a continuing emphasis on education as a central tool. I miss his emails, his clippings, his urgency, and his care.