In Memoriam, Ad Infinitum: Dietmar Neufeld

cropped-NeufeldD_1We are extremely sad to announce that on September 9th, 2015, Dietmar Neufeld, the head of the department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies passed away. Besides being a truly wonderful and inspirational human, Diet was From Stone to Screen’s original advocate. We would not be where weare today without the continued support and encouragement that Diet provided, from the very beginning of the project. As a tribute to Diet, and in appreciation of all his help over the years, we include some of the best correspondence from our fearless leader. We hope you enjoy his words as much as we did:

February 28th, 2013 – before FSTS existed, Diet’s response to our very lengthy proposal for an as-yet ‘unnamed’ departmental digitization project:

“This is a great idea and spelled out in such a way so that it is has achievable goals. Good on you for coordinating the effort. I am fully supportive.”

Good on you for coordinating the effort. I am fully supportive

May 24th 2013 – in response to my (another very lengthy!) email requesting funds to store the Fuller artifacts:

“Hi Chelsea, good to hear from you. And, yes purchase what you need to store the materials safely.”


September 29th, 2014 – in congratulations to Lisa winning the GRAND I3 challenge:

“Lisa, you were clear, convincing and to the point. I could tell that what you were putting out there in terms of IDEA and INNOVATION was striking a cord not only in the audience but in the judges. What can I say, but good on you. Well done.”

What can I say, but good on you. Well done.

July 10th 2015 – An email sent to the entire department about the publicity of our papyrus:

“Congratulations to Chelsea Gardner and Toph Marshall for bringing to light an important ancient papyrus -“Window on a lost world”: rediscovered papyri at UBC shed light on ancient Egypt.” See the links below for the wonderful coverage on this discovery.”

In addition to these brief yet charming emails, Diet was always quick to grant funds or access to resources whenever possible. He gave us permission to get licenses for FileMaker Pro in the slide room, and when the slide room was transformed into the Emeriti office, Diet made sure that it would be reserved one day per week for FSTS research and business, so that we would have a safe place to conduct our hands-on work. He allocated funds for conference travel, and was in attendance to several FSTS events, showing his support with his infectious smile.

Finally, on a more personal note, this is the email I received from Diet before leaving for Athens for the 2013-2014 academic year:

Hi Chelsea, dropping in for beers and tears as we say our goodbyes to you is a great idea. Alas, I will not be able to make it unless there is a last minute change in an obligation that I have. If I do not make it, have a safe journey and a wonderful time in Athens – what an opportunity you have.                     Make the most of it. You will be missed here.”

I will not forget this great man’s advice to make the most of every experience. Diet, you too will be missed here, and everywhere.

Make the most of it. You will be missed here.

Click here for more information on Diet’s flag-lowering ceremony at UBC.

About Chelsea Gardner

A PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia, Chelsea works on several archaeological projects in Greece and is the Project Manager for From Stone to Screen. Chelsea loves travel and all things related to Classical Archaeology, even when it involves uploading metadata or encountering spiders in the field.

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