Alexander Toulouse, son of Fordham visiting assistant professor of political science Christopher Toulouse, Ph.D., died Saturday afternoon, Sept. 6, while bicycling with his father through Brooklyn. He was 8 years old.
Alexander—called Zander by his family and friends—was well-known in the Fordham community through visits to campus and his attendance on class field trips led by his father. Students remember Zander, whom they called the “Little Professor,” for his love of Skittles, politics and the MTA rail system.
“Alexander was a wonderfully poised young boy that loved life and learning about the great world around him,” said Cathy Buescher, coordinator for academic projects and processes at Fordham.
“I was particularly taken with the fact that he and his dad had made a point of riding every single subway line from end-to-end,” Buescher recalled. “They had now moved onto the LIRR lines and were looking forward to adding that accomplishment to their already very long list of adventures. It was clearly evident that Chris and Alexander had a very special bond and that they each brought great joy to each other.”
Zander had recently begun third grade at Public School 29 on Henry Street in Brooklyn, and was an avid supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Arrangements are as follows:
1:15 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10
Riverside Memorial Chapel
180 West 76th St. (at the corner of Amsterdam Ave.)
New York, N.Y. 10023
The family will be receiving visitors on Wednesday until 10 p.m. and all day Thursday at their home:
140 Warren St., Apt. 1C
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
Letters of condolence can be sent to Christopher Toulouse and Bonnie Steinsnyder at the above address or left on Zander’s Web tribute page here.
“When faced with such a great loss, words sometimes fail,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. “My heart goes out to Zander’s family in their terrible hour of grief. Zander and his family will be in my prayers, and I’m sure in the prayers of the entire Fordham community.”
A memorial service is being planned for the University’s Lincoln Center campus. All will be welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family will announce an organization at a later date to which people can direct their generosity.
Professor Toulouse, who also serves as program coordinator for the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTE) at Fordham, has noted that he looks forward to returning to Fordham, where he will live out his son’s legacy by continuing to teach students.
“The loss of one’s child is a particular sorrow,” said Anne Mannion, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of CTE. “Chris and his son enjoyed a close, almost magical bond that many of us were privileged to see.”