Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In Remembrance: Shamms Mortier

Shamms Mortier, a beloved instructor at CCV Burlington, passed away May 22, 2008. Shamms’ last official act at CCV was to write a note to his spring 2008 philosophy and SEI students. The content of this message says so much about who Shamms was and how much he loved to teach. There is something for all of us in his words:

How honored I have been in these last three-plus decades to be in the sacred classroom with you. You have given me more, taught me more, than you will ever know All narratives must eventually reach their final chapter, and this is true for all of us as well. Would that it were not so, I would elect to keep teaching and learning forever; and perhaps that is what happens anyway in the great and enduring mystery to come. I would ask all of you to keep focused upon three things. First, be creative! That means risking doing things that are just out of reach. Push yourself to climb mountains. Second, or maybe first, be compassionate. Realize that extending a helping hand is the heart of humanity, and without heart, no blood flows. Third, be conscious! Wake up! Be aware of your world and your life. I send you much

April 21, 2008

Do you have any favorite memories of Shamms? Did he have an impact on your life? If so, consider sharing your story by submitting a comment to this post.


  1. I cant begin to express my sadness at the loss of such an amazing man. I took every class that I could to be close to his wisdom. He taught about compassion, and love and he gave so much to everyone that he new. He helped me through an incredible tragedy, he counseled me and helped me. He was always there for you, with a kind word or a smile. He was
    sincere and thoughtful. He didn't just preach compassion he lived it. I will remember him for as long as I live. And I will try to honor him by being the best that I can be.

    To his family I am so sorry for your loss.


  2. Shamms was one of my all-time favorite teachers, I took both his Introduction to Ethics and Seminar in Educational Inquiry classes and wish that I had gotten the chance to have taken more classes with him. It is sad to see him go, no one has ever made me think about and question things more than he had. He woke me up to a whole new world and for that I will always be thankful. I wish that I had gotten to know him better. Also, to the family of Shamms, I am so very sorry for your loss.

  3. A letter was recently published in the Times Argus from one of Shamms' fomer students at Burlington College named Wes Hamilton. Click here to read the letter.

  4. Shamms was the most amazing teacher I've ever had in my entire life. He touched me in a way that no others have. I had Shamms for three classes at Burlington College - Prophecies, Oracles and Divination - Introduction to Transpersonal Psychology - The Myths and Mysteries of Persia. My learning curve at this point was simply through the roof. I came to Burlington College as a nontraditional student. My history of schooling up on til this juncture in my life was not that good. Shamms changed all that. I now know that I will be a lifelong learner. I simply will never be able to forget the impact that Shamms made on my life. One of my best memories of my times with Shamms at B.C. was the last day of our Persia class. We had a poetry slam and Shamms and I read poetry to one another. I was reading Hafiz and Shamms was reading the poetry of George W. Bush. It was simply priceless.

    Peace, Chris