On Jan. 30, the Rollins community gathered together at the Annie Russell Theatre to pay tribute to Professor of Psychology Dr. Martin E. Farkash.
Many, including his psychology coworkers; members of various academic departments on campus; Rollins’ administration; friends and family of the late professor; and many of his former students, came together to recognize the great contributions Dr. Farkash had made not only to this institute, but also to all of the people’s lives he touched.
The service began with an opening prayer, recited in Hebrew by Professor of Religion and Director of the Jewish Studies Program Dr. Yudit K. Greenberg. After, Professor of Psychology and Interim Dean of the Faculty Robert Smither began the words of tribute.
During his speech, he spoke of the great popularity Dr. Farkash had, especially among the students here at Rollins. His courses were always the most difficult to get into and he taught thousands of students over his 32-year career at the college.
Dr. Farkash had a great impact on his students and they had nothing but the utmost respect and love for him. One student commented that Dr. Farkash was “truly a perfect professor, mentor,” to which Smither replied, “and I’d add colleague and friend.”
Professor of English Maurice O’ Sullivan, who wrote a truly touching obituary on Dr. Farkash, lamented on the professor’s attention to detail and sense of style.
He mentioned Dr. Farkash’s final two requests. First, Dr. Farkash asked that O’ Sullivan write the obituary so that his family would not have to worry about the matter, and second, that he go to Farkash’s office and get his student’s projects so that he may grade them in time.
Evan and Mathew Farkash, respectively, talked about how much their father meant to them. Evan started off by thanking everyone for coming as well as those who helped to set up the memorial service for his dad.
Mathew Farkash shared much of the same sentiment as his brother, becoming visibly emotional throughout his speech, especially when telling the story of how his father broke the news of his cancer diagnosis.
Finally, Professor and Chair of Psychology Dr. Paul Harris announced that an award would be created in honor of his late colleague.
Officially named the Martin E. Farkash Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Mental Health, said award will be given annually to a junior or senior psychology major who has made a contribution to mental health in the community through internship experience or other volunteer work.
Dr. Martin E. Farkash will never be forgotten. He was a successful clinician, caring teacher, loving father and husband, extraordinary friend, and much, much more.
Rollins College has lost a great man, who always seemed to know what to say and was earnestly there for those who needed him the most.He will greatly be missed.