I knew Professor Robert Cord from the time I was eight years old and my father, Charles F. Haley, first brought him home for dinner with our family. My father was a Professor of Education and later Associate Dean of the College of Education which then became Bouvé College. I named Professor Cord “Fuzzy Ears”—the things that impress an eight-year-old! He let me get away with the nickname, and I would even use it out of the hearing of students and faculty when I attended Northeastern for undergrad and law school. From the time I was five years old, I spent a lot of time on campus, often wandering around on my own (times were different then), and I saw “Fuzzy Ears” often.
Professor Cord was a wonderful teacher, scholar, and friend. He wrote a letter of reference for me for law school. At that time, few Northeastern undergraduates were accepted at Northeastern University Law School. I was nervous about getting in and asked if I could see what he wrote. He said to me, “Paula, I never share the letters, but trust me, I made the Holy Trinity into a Quartet!”
After law school, I moved to Alaska and enjoyed a wonderful career as a civil rights lawyer and executive director of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. My father became ill and moved here until his death in 1987. I returned to Northeastern for a memorial service for my dad that summer. My sister and I created the Charles F. Haley Scholarship Fund for undergraduates.
Though I visit Boston often, I never stepped foot on Northeastern’s campus again until this past year when Development Director, Deth Sao facilitated a tour by a student, and I was in awe of the changes. I visited again in the fall, and Deth arranged a lunch with Jasmine, a recipient of my dad’s fund. Meeting such an accomplished young woman who benefited from the fund literally brought me to tears. While touring the campus on those two occasions, my memories were less of my time as a student and more of my childhood escapades on campus. I recalled visits to Fuzzy Ears, Ruth Karp, and other friends and associates of my father’s, as well as the kindness of janitors and groundskeepers when I would lose my way back to dad’s office.