Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - 43

Eulogy for Andy Sage
The world is emptier than it was a week ago. We have

watching Andy interact with colleagues and students that

lost a leader, a pioneer, an institution builder, a writer,

he is the kind of luminary who looks not to outshine those

and an educator-a man who, in the words of SEOR

around him but to spark everyone's lights so we all shine

Depar tment Chair Ariela Sofer, "crammed several

more brightly together than we would individually. Nothing

lifetimes of achievements in the course of his career." We

delighted Andy more than the success of his students, and

have also lost a friend, a colleague, a husband, a father,

he worked tirelessly to help them succeed.

and a grandfather.

Through the years we worked together, Andy's passion for

It is impossible to think of Andy without calling to mind

education was always evident. Andy could have risen to the

his long list of professional achievements. Since last Friday,

top of whatever field he chose. He chose to be an educator,

I cannot tell you how many times the word "luminary" has

and he chose systems engineering as the field in which to

come up. Luminary: a person who inspires or influences

make his mark. He understood clearly that the problems

others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere. Yes,

of the future are systems problems, and our quality of life

that's Andy. But for me, the word luminary also connotes an

depends on effective functioning of the systems around us.

unapproachable figure, a light shining from afar. And that

His faith was palpable in the power of systems thinking to

most assuredly does not describe Andy.

transform our world. He made it his life's work to share his

When I came to George Mason in 1990 as a young,

vision and to inspire others with his faith. He strove to educate

inexperienced faculty member, I was a little unsure about

the next generation of engineers as systems thinkers-

how it would be, meeting this luminary in person. I need

both because he truly wanted the best for his students as

not have worried. Right from the beginning, Andy accepted

individual human beings and because he wanted the

me as an equal and a peer. He put me at ease. He drew

brightest future for humanity as a whole.

me into engaging, challenging, and always respectful

Although the world is emptier than it was a week ago, the

conversations on subjects for which we shared a passion:

light of this luminary will continue to shine. It will shine in the

decision support, systems engineering, and engineering

institutions he built and in the works he authored-but most

education. He encouraged dissent and disagreement,

important, it will shine in the lives he touched and in the lights

having the strength of character and self-assurance to

he sparked in his friends, family, colleagues, and students. I

acknowledge without defensiveness or rancor when

am grateful to have been touched by his light, and I will strive

someone else had a better answer than he did. Indeed, he

to let that light shine on through me.

typically reacted with delight at learning something new.
Especially important for me, Andy always understood and

(Editor's Note: Prof. Laskey delivered this eulogy at Dr.
Sage's funeral on 5 November 2014.)

respected my commitment to family and supported me

Kathryn Laskey

in carving out time for my young children. I learned from

George Mason University

to achieve in their lifetime. But Andy
successfully crammed several lifetimes
of achievements in the course of his
professional journey. And he did that
with collegiality, generosity, and grace.
His broad contributions continue
to live within us, and will guide generations of systems engineers in years
to come.
Ariela Sofer
George Mason University
A Personal Note
As I marvel at Andy Sage's many
accomplishments, I am also struck by
how Andy enriched the personal and
professional lives of those many students and colleagues he worked with
over the years. He was a wonderful
mentor and kind friend for many of us

in various stages of our professional
careers. He helped me better understand how our profession can have a
more meaningful impact on the broader society, the effort and perspective
required to have such impact, and what
constitutes a productive professional
career. I will forever be indebted to and
appreciative of Andy as a mentor, as
we all are for his thought leadership for
our profession and its impact on and
beyond our academic community.
Chelsea C. White III
Georgia Institute of Technology
A Giant in Systems
Engineering
It is w ith great sad ness that I
learned about the passing of Andrew
Ja nu a r y 2015

P. Sage, Jr. on 31 October 2014. Andy
was truly a larger-than-life figure for
those of us in the broad area of systems engineering, now in the even
broader area of system-of-systems
engineering! Those of us who were
unfortunately not directly mentored
by Andy as a student were, nevertheless, nurtured by his prolific
presence in the field; by his editorial guidance in the publication of
our papers in IEEE Transactions
on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics,
the IFAC journal Automatica, the
INCOSE Wiley journal Systems Engineering, and Information Knowledge Systems Management; and
by his thoughtful friendship in the
SMCS. Thanks, Andy, for over four
decades of guidance and friendship.

IEEE SyStEmS, man, & CybErnEtICS magazInE

43



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015

Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - Cover1
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