Remembering Neil Weiner

Jul 09, 2009

It's been only a week since we learned the tragic and shocking news that Neil Weiner, our research director and senior fellow, passed away. Neil joined Vera in 2006 to lead our research efforts. He commuted from Philadelphia every day and was on his way to work last Thursday when he died. His death was so sudden; I'm sure it leaves us all looking for ways to understand and cope with this loss. For his wife, Pamela, and two young kids, 15 and 8, his loss is unimaginable. 

Neil was a distinguished criminal justice scholar and an incredibly skilled research methodologist. For me, however, his defining characteristic had little to do with his accomplished professional life. Rather, it was that Neil was a wise, warm, and generous man. Everybody who knew Neil liked Neil. He was incredibly dedicated to the research staff and did all he could to see them succeed and grow professionally. He recently donated a substantial part of his personal library to Vera, working over a weekend to bring the books to the office so we could access his extraodinary collection. He was also dedicated to Vera's mission. Neil had just helped create a research guest speaker series to introduce more scholars to Vera's work. 

Over the next few weeks, we will find a way to honor Neil's memory here at Vera. In the meantime, he has only been gone a week, and we already miss him very much.