Senior Professional Lecturer of Fashion, Richard Kramer, died in his sleep, the night of Feb. 27, 2019. He was in his early 70’s. Students and faculty who knew him say Kramer was an outstanding professor that impacted student lives beyond the classroom.
Radley Cramer, the Director of the Marist Fashion Program, was a close friend, and colleague, of Kramer for more than a decade. Cramer had a contact that was able to check on Kramer and reported back on his passing. Kramer had a career in teaching at Marist of nearly 20 years and was described by Cramer as “a longstanding pillar of the Fashion Program.”
Kramer was described as someone who was larger than life, which caused him to live a life that was anything but ordinary.
“As a specialist in costume history, Richard represented the classic “sage on the stage” — presenting engaging, sometimes very entertaining theatrical descriptions of historical periods and how fashion reflected the spirit of the times. He brought the history of costume to life. He was an expert, with precise presentation and master of his teaching. He added a lot of emotion, which the faculty admired.”
Kramer (Left) with Cramer (Right) Photo Courtesy of Marist Fashion
Josiah Turbak, a senior fashion merchandising student, was a student of Kramer in previous semesters. Turbak desired Kramer to be extremely caring and thoughtful and was the kind of professor that was always willing to stay after class with students.
Michaela Ceci, now a senior fashion student, had Kramer during her first semester as a freshman and again last semester. “He really helped me grow as a student. He was one of my favorite teachers honestly because he really taught with his heart and soul. His class was like story time, throughout the whole period I would be captivated and it made it so much easier for me to learn and retain the information. That really set him apart for me.”
An aspect of Kramer’s teaching that many students of his commented on, was his efforts in building a relationship with his students, and his encouragement of student opinions.
“He really wanted to hear our opinion on things and share things we were passionate about to the class,” said Ceci.
Photo Courtesy of Marist Fashion
Turbak describes Kramer’s teaching to be rare, saying he would speak about life more than the lessons. Kramer focused on how things will be used in the world after college, and what students can and should take away from everything they are experiences. Turbak concurs to Ceci experience with Kramer by speaking of how Kramer would ask for their opinions on topics beyond the classroom. Kramer was engaged in what was going on and put forth efforts to keep himself engaged.
Kramer retired in 2017, however, he still continued to teach two courses, History of Costume and History of Modern Fashion. Both these classes are noted for having students of various majors, stemming far beyond just the fashion department. Cramer will be taking over his classes for the remainder of the semester.
Kramer will be greatly missed by faculty and students, beyond just the fashion program. As Cramer said, “Somewhere Richard is rehearsing a new play, planning a show or telling a great story.”