The Spirit Of John Earl Lives On In Scholarship
April 8, 2013 Jenny Thomas
Earlier this year, the IBM i community lost a valuable member when John Earl, an IBM i security expert, lost his battle with brain cancer. In a fitting tribute to a man who took joy in sharing his knowledge and was passionate in encouraging others to do the same, the COMMON Educational Foundation has teamed with Help/Systems to fund the John Earl Speaker Scholarship Award.
Help/Systems’ participation in funding the award is a nod to Earl’s history in the IBM i community. Earl was a co-founder of Lighthouse Security, which was acquired by PowerTech in 1998. Help/Systems acquired PowerTech 10 years later, in 2008, hence the connection to Earl.
“At PowerTech, we talk about John often–usually recounting one of his great stories–and know that we’re not alone in missing him. After relying on John as mentor, friend, leader, and contributor for so many years, we had a duty to share John’s joy of knowledge with the IBM i community,” wrote Robin Tatam, director of security technologies at PowerTech, in his blog on the PowerTech website. “John had many friends at PowerTech and Help/Systems, and he was a popular guy with everyone who ever attended COMMON or worked in this industry. We hope this memorial reflects how we feel about John and the lives that he touched.”
Earl was also an active member of COMMON, serving as director from 2003 to 2005.
The John Earl Speaker Scholarship Award will pay conference fees for speakers at the annual Spring COMMON meeting and exposition. The first recipient of the award will be announced at the COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition, which began April 7 in Austin, Texas.
For more information about the John Earl Memorial Fund, contact Michelle August, executive director of the COMMON Education Foundation via email.