She could pack Blackman Auditorium for a course on dying, build a religious studies program at a university known for practical education, and quickly diffuse the tension in a room with her unbridled laugh.
Susan Setta died on May 14 at the age of 69, after 40 years as a professor at Northeastern and 16 years as chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.
“She put wind in the sails of all her department colleagues,” said Lori Lefkovitz, director of the Jewish Studies Program. “She wanted everyone to succeed. She was the kind of colleague who truly believed that a rising tide floats all boats.”
When Ame Wren thinks about her former professor, she sees Setta laughing with a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in one hand while gesticulating emphatically with the other.
“She was a big hand-talker—and she loved coffee,” said Wren, who graduated in 2005 with a degree in religion. “She was boisterous, loving, and fun.”