Longtime Faculty Member and Actor Bradley Mott
Bradley Mott, longtime faculty member, passed away on October 10, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. A graduate from Northwestern University, Bradley was a well-known actor in Chicago's vibrant theatre scene. While at Columbia, Bradley taught alongside his wife, Susan Osborne-Mott, before the couple moved to New Jersey in 2008. As Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones noted in his October 11 obituary of Bradley, the couple were "both people of faith in service to others." Their daughter, Columbia alum Emily Mott Zeimetz '08, is a graduate of the Theatre Department's BA Program in Musical Theatre, and their son, Andrew Mott, is a former student in Columbia's Cultural Studies program.
During his ten years at the college, Bradley served as an artist-in-residence from 2001-2008 and then as an adjunct faculty member in the Theatre Department from 2008-2011. He appeared as a guest artist in two Mainstage Season productions, working alongside his students in the vintage comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner under the direction of the woman who would become his wife. His professional costars in that show were future Tony Award winners Laurie Metcalf and Rondi Reed. He also appeared in former Theatre Department chair Sheldon Patinkin's staging of the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate at Columbia, and also directed all-student productions of the classic comedies The Recruiting Officer and You Can't Take It With You.
As Associate Department Chair Susan Padveen informed us over the weekend, Bradley and his family returned to Chicago when his wife, Susan, retired from the church. He entered hospice a short time ago and lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. Susan remarked, “Brad Mott was a great collaborator, artist and educator. His former students loved him because of his talent as a teacher but also because he cared about them as human beings; he was also the person you always wanted to have in the room with you. When I close my eyes, I hear his laugh, open them and see that amazingly impish smile. He will be missed, but never forgotten.”
Jeff Ginsberg, associate professor emeritus, commented, “We know Brad as a consummate actor and inspiring teacher, a brilliant comedian. In the Buddhist tradition there is the tradition of virtues called The Four Divine Abodes- the third being ‘sympathetic joy’- the ability to celebrate the successes of your friends as if they were your own. The profession of the theatre can be a real challenge to manifesting this virtue. Brad Mott was the paragon of this standard: a greatly generous, kind-hearted and loving man who ALWAYS celebrated the successes of others with joy. An indelible artist and person. What a privilege to have walked the earth at the same time as Brad.”
The college is grateful to Bradley for the countless lives he inspired at the college and beyond. The Theatre Department’s heartwarming tribute to Bradley can be found here, and Bradley’s obituary in the Chicago Tribune can be found here.