Statement from Dr. Harry Edwards on the passing of Aretha Franklin

Dr. Harry Edwards and Aretha Franklin

Deeply saddened, heartsick and praying for you, Ms. Aretha Franklin. Thank you so much for the music that framed and informed much of my life during my years of “coming of age”. Through your music you became a virtual collaborator with me in defining, interpreting and emotionally memorializing some of the most definitive and indelible moments of my life: When I first met and later married my wife of 50 years, when my first child was born, when I first awakened to both the imperative and obligations of demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Your music still speaks powerfully to my soul and reverberates through the corridors of my mind. God bless you. Godspeed. Rest in peace. Long live the queen!

—Dr. Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, ’16 Honorary Doctorate