When it comes to enjoying the educational aspects of college there is one necessity to ensure that it will be possible: a good professor. This is exactly what Castleton University students found in European and world history professor Adam Chill, although the term “good professor” doesn’t even really begin to cover it for many of his students.
However, Chill will be leaving Castleton University faculty at the end of the semester because of a job offer his wife recently received. Students and faculty alike have acknowledged his departure as a tremendous loss, no matter how happy for him they may be.
“It’s definitely bittersweet for sure,” Chill said.
Chill has been teaching at Castleton since August of 2009 and has done a great deal of good for the university that so many call home. From being the faculty advisor for Curling club—despite knowing next to nothing about the sport to this day—to being a member of many committees, to coordinating the global studies program, Chill has done a great deal to better the university that he loves so much. And he doesn’t do it for any other reason.
This mentality of always wanting to better both oneself and one’s community is a rare thing to come by, and it is abundantly clear that it will be missed when Chill leaves Castleton University in just a few weeks when the fall semester is finished.
The situation isn’t all doom and gloom, however, because the reasoning behind Chill’s upcoming absence is without a doubt something to celebrate.
“My wife was offered a position as a foreign service officer abroad and despite the hardships that came with leaving, we knew that we had to take it. It would allow our kids to travel and see the world and they are our first priority,” he said.
When mentioning the subject of his kids, a son and a daughter both in elementary school, Chill’s voice softened a little—making it clear that the impact the move would have on his kids has been a very important part of the decision to leave Rutland in favor of a life of education and travel.
“Of course, the kids aren’t the only thing that made this opportunity impossible to pass up on. The process for becoming a foreign service officer is incredibly selective, and we’re lucky that my wife made it through. As hard as it was, there isn’t really a question of if it was the right choice, it’s just the awareness that it was a difficult one to make,” Chill said.
This idea of the decision to move being a good but difficult one to make was a thought shared by Chill’s colleagues.
“Like my colleagues, I feel Adam’s departure is bittersweet. I am so happy for his wife’s new career trajectory in Foreign Service and for their family’s opportunity to live abroad and experience other cultures. I am happy that their children will have that rich experience that few American children have. But I am sad to lose a valuable colleague,” political science professor Rich Clark said. “Adam always approached matters with a great deal of empathy for all involved—whether that was in the study of history, in working with students, or in his relations with his colleagues.”
One colleague who stood out in terms of admiration for Chill is Professor Patricia van der Spuy, well known to her students as Amai Trish, who teaches classes on both early African History and current African history. Like a great deal of her colleagues both inside and outside of Leavenworth Hall, she also has a great deal of admiration for Dr. Chill.
“Back in 2017 I was restricted to a wheelchair after I slipped and broke both of my ankles.”
She spoke during a conversation about Chill, her eyes a little distant as she continued.
“I won’t go into too much detail as I’ve provided you with an article written on the incident, but if not for Dr. Chill I would not have been able to continue teaching. He helped me to get both to and from work and he helped me to maneuver through the busy hallways in between classes. He is not only an incredible colleague but an incredible person as well.”
And it is experiences with Chill like this one that have helped to solidify his name here in the Castleton community. Students who have never had a class with Dr. Chill have commented on all of the good things they have heard both about him as a professor and him as a person, and this reputation will undoubtably continue to follow him as he goes off to experience new things with his family.
And for the many Spartans both graduated, currently enrolled, retired, or currently employed, here at Dr. Chill’s Parting words to you:
“Although I’m leaving it gives me great comfort to know that Castleton exists. To know that light exists in a sometimes very dark world is very comforting even from a distance. So, thank you for existing, Castleton.”
Goodbye and good luck Dr. Chill, your entire Castleton family wishes you well.