John Toll, former president of the University of Maryland who passed away July 15 ("Founding chancellor of University System of Md." July 16 ) was a great teacher. I never took a college physics course from him, but I had the chance to work with him over many years. Several generations of Marylanders, as well as education leaders across America, learned from his example. He embraced big ideas, like making the University of Maryland an international powerhouse, and worked day and night to turn them into reality. He lived Thomas Edison's formula for successful innovation — 10 percent inspiration and 90 perspiration. He produced both in abundance. We can all learn from his remarkable life.

Jim Rosapepe,College Park

The writer, a Democrat, is a state senator representing Maryland's 21st district.