I bring this message on behalf of many colleagues and friends who have been deeply impacted by the vision and humanity of Professor Norman Dahl - from the Alumni of IIT Kanpur, now scattered across the globe, from the current Director at IIT Kanpur, Prof. Sanjay Dhande, a host of current and former faculty and staff, and from participants of the Kanpur Indo American Program.  Only a remarkable man could embark on such an adventure to this far-off country called India so many years ago, and we are all deeply grateful for the way Professor Dahl has impacted so many of our lives. 


However, I must begin with my own personal fond memories of the Dahls.  In 1962, the Dahl children, Christian and Sabra accompanied their parents on their bold journey to Kanpur, India. I was a student at the Methodist High School, and Sabra was in my third-grade class - Mrs. Daisy Erasmus was our teacher. My older brother, Ranavir was a classmate of Christian. They were the first Americans my brother and I knew.  The American children, all part of the KIAP program, came to school in these giant, Jeep station wagons, and I remember badly wanting a ride in them as they were ‘left-hand-drive’ and ‘air-conditioned’ – rather cool concepts for a third grader in India.  Well, Sabra decided to call me home for a play date one day, and I rode to her house in one of these Jeeps. I remember meeting Norman that evening, and my hand getting engulfed in his as he shook hands with me.  I played teacher-student with Sabra that evening – I think it is safe to say that the one game 40 years ago inspired me to become a Professor! 


Later, both my brother Ranavir and I entered IIT Kanpur as undergraduate students. I remember a class, Engineering Science 211, where I had a personally autographed book by Profs Crandall (cf.  Professor Crandall played the piano and reminisced eloquently about Norman, and the writing of the book – what a treat!)and Dahl. The book was first owned by our cousin Uday, handed to Ranavir and finally to me. Thirty years down the road, I remember several things from that book quite clearly (I probably should remember more, but those were the days when our attention spans in classes were short) - the Mohr’s circle diagram, the thin shell approximation, and a fourth order differential equation whose solution could predict the state of stress inside bodies.  I am certain that many here today and many others around the world can trace the beginnings of their solid mechanics careers to this remarkable book.


Professor Dahl was a great educator and more important, a true visionary.  These flowers are a small token from all of us who were touched by him in the city of Kanpur, the faculty he recruited at IIT Kanpur, the American faculty and staff who participated in this adventure and from the alumni (many of whom never knew Dr. Dahl directly) whose lives were impacted by Dr. Dahl’s courageous and imaginative leadership.


Thank you for being such a pioneer, Prof Dahl. You have inspired and touched thousand of lives here and halfway round the globe. And thanks to Dorothy, Christian and Sabra for sharing Norman with us.