As a graduate student in history at William and Mary, I had the pleasure of taking a class with Rhys Isaac. Of course I was impressed by his scholarly accomplishments (and his ascot) and surprised that such a “big name” scholar was so charming and accessible. Like each of my other William and Mary professors, Professor Isaac was genuinely interested in his students and available for after class discussions. During his office hours, we talked about my thesis topic, an early Republic theater fire in Richmond, and he was very encouraging about the potential of the subject. In great part because of faculty like Rhys Isaac who believed in my research, I spent much of my my spare time and weekends in subsequent years preparing a book manuscript based on my master’s thesis work. I’m happy to say that Louisiana State University Press plans to publish it in the upcoming year. To know that a historian of his stature believed that I had a good idea and could do something important with it meant so very, very much. I am so sorry that future William and Mary students will not have the opportunity to study with Professor Isaac, and I will forever appreciate the fact that I could and did.
Meredith Baker, Independent Scholar