I have been pondering this past week what to say in this short article. It feels impossible to articulate the monumental impact that Matthew Tullis has had on my life in just the two years that I’ve known him. He was a truly remarkable person and I’m still not sure that words alone can honor him in the manner that he deserves. I will do my best, however. 

Matt Tullis crosses my mind every day in the most miniscule of ways. For instance, when typing the previous paragraph, I heard his voice saying, “Never begin a sentence with ‘however,” a statement he advised me with during my sophomore year and has stuck with me ever since. 

He also taught me that your lead should always answer the questions: when? where? why? what? And that you should never begin a lead with the date of the event; rather, you should stick it on the end. 

During my time working at The Mirror, I watched him inspire each of us to become better journalists and, more specifically, storytellers. Every Thursday that he advised our staff, I remember smiling as he held our latest issue, outpouring an unmatched level of care through his thoughtful critiques. It always meant a great deal to me that he never ceased to look for ways of enhancing our work and reaching towards our full potential. 

For those of you who did not know Matt, here are some words to describe him:

Selfless. 

Thoughtful.

Animated. 

Determined.

Passionate. 

Eager. 

Matt was the quintessential person to direct the digital journalism program at Fairfield University. He embodied all the values of a great journalist and nobody wanted to see the program grow more than he did. 

I first met Matt as a first-year student majoring in biology. I had a deep love for writing but lacked the courage to pursue my dreams. Matt had the ability to instill a feeling of security and stability with grace in everyone he knew.

He possessed the remarkable gift of being able to see right through you and discern what makes you tick as a human being. For me, this was writing, and all it took to completely change my path at Fairfield was his little bit of faith in me. 

Matt was my mentor, my advisor, my professor, but most significantly, my friend. 

He left our community too soon. There is no doubt about that. He did, however, manage to leave behind a great framework and footing for us to maintain inspiration. His heart was set on doing great things by the digital journalism program, which would revolutionize it for Stag-generations to come. 

It is my hope that we will take hold of the opportunity and footprint that Matt left behind. There is so much potential for student media at Fairfield University and we are on the cusp of vast transformation, largely due to him. 

It is my hope that down the road, Matt can be honored in a way that better reflects the impact he has made. Future generations should know his story and all he made possible for us to achieve as students. 

For now, I know that The Rearview will do its best to honor his legacy and carry out all the plans we had made. He will be forever remembered and missed. 

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