Dear Graduate and Professional Student Community,
Last week, you all received the sad news of the passing of Mark Schuster, Dean for Graduate Student Life. Like the rest of the community, the GSA is very much in grief and would like to offer our deepest condolences to Dean Schuster’s family, friends, and everyone who knew him. He was a pillar of strength in our community, and his passing was entirely unexpected and tragic.
For more than 30 years, Dean Schuster has been a beloved member of the Rutgers community. After serving various roles across campus, he settled into his most recent role as the inaugural Dean for Graduate Student Life in 2016. During this time, he spearheaded more initiatives than anyone could keep track of. Some of his most proud accomplishments and notable undertakings include the graduate and professional student resource fair, de-stress week, and LGBTQIA+ support groups. Remarkably, Dean Schuster had never kept a CV or running list of all his accomplishments; perhaps there were too many for even him to count. This is a testament to who he was – a selfless, caring, and dedicated man who devoted all of his time and energy into supporting the Rutgers community he loved, particularly graduate and professional students. In his passing, the GSA heard from many of you who said unequivocally without Dean Schuster, you may not be here at Rutgers. For this, we know he will be remembered well.
Dean Schuster was a beloved member of the student body and the faculty and administration. He served several roles as affiliate faculty in the departments of American Studies, Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Graduate School of Education. His colleagues described him as a “tireless advocate for graduate and professional students”, as well as anyone whom he could help. He always knew “when something was up” and deeply cared about the wellbeing of his community. For Dean Schuster, his role was more than a job; it was who he was – a caring person who thought about each individual and proactively supported everyone. He had a way with words (especially email) and captured students and faculty alike with his warm and welcoming demeanor, passionate conversation, and keen sense of humor.
We invite all of you to share your memories of Dean Schuster with the GSA by sending us a message or leaving a brief note on his office door to honor his memory. He will be sorely missed by so many. In this season of peace, joy, and thanks, we remember all of the ways Dean Schuster inspired and supported our beloved Rutgers community and thank him for everything that he gave us.
With fondest memories, thank you, Dean Schuster.
The Rutgers Graduate Student Association
P.S. In difficult times, Dean Schuster taught us that none of us are alone. If you are in need of support, please reach out to friends, colleagues, mental health professionals, or anyone in the GSA (really, we mean that).