On July 19, 2012 the American University in Bulgaria lost an enthusiastic and inspirational member of its community. Dr. Wm. Cyrus Reed died of the injuries sustained in a serious car accident, which occurred on July 13, 2012 in Michigan, USA. He held the position of Provost in AUBG since August 2010.
AUBG’s commitment to highest academic standards, the enthusiasm and diversity of its student body were among the factors that attracted Cy, as his friends called him, to the university. In many of his interviews Dr. Reed shared that the conversations and exchange of ideas with students and faculty from more than 40 countries filled him with energy and positivism. His dedication and unfading optimism served as a great motivating factor for the people around him. Cy’s energy, engaging sense of humor and unfailing smile won the hearts and minds of many people, not only at AUBG but in Blagoevgrad and Bulgaria which he truly felt as his home.
“Since his arrival on campus, Cy has become a deeply admired and respected member of our community. His energy, generosity, and humor enriched our lives, and he will be deeply missed by his many friends on campus and off,” wrote AUBG president David Huwiler in his address to students, faculty and staff.
Deeply grieved by the sudden tragic news, AUBG students and alumni expressed their sincere condolences to Dr. Reed’s family. Nikolay Rumenin, the president of the AUBG Alumni Association wrote: “This is a great loss for Cy's family, but also for the whole AUBG community, which I am sure Cy considered his second family. He will always be remembered with his positivism, professional attitude towards AUBG and outstanding readiness to help and support.”
Words of commiseration for this tragic loss were also expressed by the members of the AUBG Board of Trustees. “It is hard to believe. Such a shocking tragedy! A cheerful, good-natured and well-meaning man is gone,” shared Ambassador Elena Poptodorova. “A big smile and laugh, always ready to help, having put his life at the dedication of others through higher education. A very approachable, welcoming and gentle man” – this is how trustee member Francois Riston will remember his friend and colleague.
Dr. Reed’s arrival at AUBG brought an extensive international experience in the field of higher education. Before assuming the position at AUBG his professional experience included working as senior administrator and faculty member at the New York Institute of Technology – the birthplace of the 3D computer animation, where he was the head of five international campuses – in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Amman, Vancouver and Nanjing. Between 2006 and 2007 he held a similar position in the American University in Cairo. His academic interests were complemented by travelling and research throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa – where he conducted research in Rwanda right after the genocide. His academic background featured an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, studies at the University of Innsbruck, the University of Cologne and a Ph.D from the Indiana University.