In the fall semester of 1961, undergraduates at the University of Miami had every reason to be optimistic. John Kennedy was president, and Camelot was in full flower in the nation’s capital. The possibility of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was as inconceivable as the Tet Offensive, Kent State and Timothy Leary.
Rippling through the line of would-be novelists and short-story writers waiting to register for a course in creative writing was the name Lester Goran.
Though he had been on campus less than a year, he was the talk of the English Department. The word was, if we took nothing else that semester, we had to take Professor Goran. His lectures were works of art. He spared nothing. He saved nothing. He spent himself without reserve. We were transported by his energy, his confidence and his inimitable eloquence in both the written and the spoken word.
It was a heady several years as a student of Professor Goran that changed my life forever. For such a gift, no expression of gratitude would be adequate.
Arthur Rothenberg, former judge, Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Miami