Remembering Dr. Ernie Bond
Ernest L. Bond, better known by all as “Ernie,” suddenly passed away on Tuesday morning, September 20, 2016. It was a shock to everyone, and our Teacher Education Department family miss him greatly. He added such zest and energy to everyone, coming in to work each morning with a hearty “hello” and shortly thereafter a rumble of laughter at something that touched his heart.
Ernie will always be known as the “Children’s Literature GURU,” the guy who knew every book, from board books for babies to young adult fiction. When a new box of books arrived for him to review, he could soon be seen searching for colleagues in their office to share the new arrivals, ones that they should touch, read. He added a wonderment to books for children; he showed us ways to view the illustrations that no one but Ernie would think of. He made many of us spend way too much money on books because his enthusiasm was contagious and we wanted a piece of it too.
Not only was he an important member of the education faculty at Salisbury University, his name was also known worldwide. He had author/illustrator friends as far north as Iceland, as far south as Brazil and as far west as New Zealand. Many SU students traveled with him all over the world, meeting illustrators in their studios in France and authors in their homes in Germany. With colleagues and a few SU students, he presented at international conferences in Denmark, England, Germany, China, Mexico City, Australia and New Zealand. He served on international award committees such as the Hans Christian Andersen Award. In the U.S., he was instrumental in founding the Green Earth Book Awards with The Nature Generation non-profit organization.
Many SU students will remember him as bringing books alive for all ages. With their love of books dormant since reading textbooks in college, Ernie reignited the flame for them and brought back their love of reading. His expertise in the area will be long lasting as the pre-service, master’s-level and doctoral students continue his legacy by sharing his love of literature with the children they meet.
We all miss him every day. But, we still hear the ripple of laughter and see his smiling face. He may be gone from us physically, but his spirit will never leave. He will always walk the halls of Conway Hall, especially in the Curriculum Resource Center and the Teacher Education Department, carrying a stack of books with a joyous heart.
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