Michael Maso on the Death of John Silber

by:  Michael Maso at 09/27/2012

We learned today that John Silber passed away early this morning. As transformative a figure as Dr. Silber was to Boston University, he was even more critical to the Huntington, which would not have come into being without his personal determination that the City of Boston have a world-class resident theatre. When asked why he would invest the University's resources in what might be perceived as a risky proposition, he said "If Boston University can support a football team, it can damn well support a theatre company!"

Thirty years later the Huntington is an independent organization, but our strategic partnership with and support from BU continues to this day. Over 3.5 million people have seen more than 180 productions since the Huntington's founding in 1982, and 450,000 young people have been served by our education and community programs. The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, which the Huntington built and opened in 2004, would not exist if the Huntington had not been founded by BU 22 years earlier, and a proud John Silber was with us at its dedication.

I last saw John about a year ago when he attended our production ofCandide, which he greatly admired. I look forward to finding a way to honor him and his role in the founding of the Huntington in the coming weeks, and I take great pleasure in knowing that the service to BU and to Greater Boston that he envisioned for us over 30 years ago continues stronger than ever. As you can see from his obituary on Boston.com, the founding of the Huntington is recognized as an important part of John Silber's legacy.

The Huntington family and I send my deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire Silber family.


  1. I am completely in awe of phphrgraoteos such as yourself who can successfully shoot candid portraits as well as action shots like those in this series. You pull us right into the action, into the crowds. Really fabulous!
  2. Dr. Overton: To elect meaning mlreey to choose, all of Mankind is currently locked into the narrow rut of to elect as if it can only mean to vote, that is, to play our assigned-from-above role our only only only role in the Establishment-owned PPC (Political Popularity Contest). Virtually all of the problems alluded to in your book would disappear should we find a more democratic election system than the PPC. Ruling out wrestling matches, beauty reviews, and spelling bees for all the obvious reasons, the method of firmly establishing First Amendment-styled democracy in the place of big-moneyed elitism and REAL Republic in the place of republic-disguised Oligarchy is to turn all Election Commissions into draft boards and make all non-deferred adult citizens candidates for all political offices for which they are age-residency qualified. I.e., replace the BLANKET PPC with the BLANKET Political Lottery so that our federal and State governments will no longer be monopolized by only one kind of egotist, the one popularly derided as the Career Politician. The PPC is the screen which rules out anything close to ordinary or typical Americans being elected to public office.If you have objections to this, please include much higher remarks than just crystal-balling it with It'll never work and/or You'll never make it fly. Tell me, instead, why Oligarchy is not our enemy, or why getting rid of the oligarch control of government would be bad, or why a mere cross-section of the non-deferred general public would not be more democratic than the professional-politicians-only arrangement now existing.Thank you.
  3. I also read your comments on this sereis on Flickr. I think many of your action photos ARE portraits. You anticipate and capture the peak moment beautifully (something I'm not very good at) and every expression tells something about that person. I enjoyed these very much. ~Lee
  4. I am completely in awe of phgpeorathors such as yourself who can successfully shoot candid portraits as well as action shots like those in this series. You pull us right into the action, into the crowds. Really fabulous!
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