The CS Department mourns the loss of Jill Forster

March 8, 2021

The department notes with sadness the death of Jill Orioli Forster, long-time Administrator of URCS.  Jill was in fact the department’s first employee, and was here to welcome the department’s founder, Jerry Feldman, when he arrived from California in 1974.  As Department Administrator until 2003, she presided over a period of tremendous growth and change, as the department moved from its initial stand-alone status into the College of Arts and Sciences, grew to about 15 faculty, 10 staff, and 50 PhD students, moved into a brand-new building, and added an elite undergraduate bachelor’s program.  

Throughout that time, in addition to running an ever more complex administrative enterprise, Jill served as “mother hen” to generations of graduate students, combining great compassion with no-nonsense pragmatism.  (A sign above her desk advised “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”)  When she retired, she took care to recruit her own successor first: the wonderfully capable Eileen Pullara, who has continued Jill’s tradition for another 20 years.  Jill’s dedication, integrity, and wisdom were a blessing to all who knew her; she is very dearly missed.