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Professor Martin Seymour teaching

In Memory of Martin Seymour

"My intent is to project
an impression of the human spirit." - Martin Seymour

Martin Seymour began employment at Eastern on September 2, 1997 as a University Assistant providing technical support in Media Services. Given his affinity for photography, a few weeks later he took on the added role of University Assistant – Staff Photographer in the Office of Public Relations (now known as University Relations).

Always wanting to do more, in Fall 1999 Martin began teaching photography courses in the Communication Department which he continued to do until his passing. Whether in the classroom or doing independent studies, Martin shared his love of photography thru his teaching and through the wonderful images he captured on film.


With his keen eye and technical knowledge, over the years he provided media support services to campus events including the Excellence Expo, Alumni Weekend and the Live Old Time Radio show. In addition, he worked with the Learning Center CONNCap program.

Prior to and during his time at Eastern, Martin was an avid professional photographer specializing in portraiture and fashion photography. According to his portfolio website, he graduated with a Psychology degree from Adelphi University and went on to photography assistant positions with British Royal photographer Norman Parkinson and American photographer Irving Penn, both very popular in the fashion photography worlds in New York and Europe in the 1980s. Royal subjects he assisted in lighting design for Parkinson included The Queen Mother of England at her 85th birthday, Prince Andrew of England and King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan. He was also a lighting designer for fashion shows and theater and dance productions. Martin spent five years as a lighting director and designer at the New York Academy of Art for its opera productions. Martin's photo edits and environmental fashion portraits were featured in Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, HOLA in Spain, Harper's Bazaar in Italy and Australia along with many other publications. He carried that talent with him to Eastern, collaborating with the theater program on lighting and photography for shows.

A page from Martin Seymour's resume

According to Eastern emeritus professor Ellen Faith Brodie, “it was Martin’s wonderful idea in 1999 to teach his photography students how to do portraits and headshots, and since that time, his students and ours benefitted from what was a collaborative effort between our departments. These headshots were not only displayed at Eastern but also displayed in NYC as part of our NYC Showcase, and students presented them to talent agents in NYC and during our LA Spring Break program.”

Martin Seymour's family obituary notice

Please share your stories about Martin Seymour’s life using this Select Survey link. Please remember to add your name to your response or you can respond anonymously as well. All responses will be shared on his memorial page here.

Joe Chaisson
ECSU Alumni
Class of 2019
"I met Professor Seymour in January of 2017. It was the start of the spring semester for the 2016/17 school year and I was in my sophomore year. During my tenure at Eastern Connecticut State University, Fall of 2015 through the Spring of 2019, Professor Seymour offered three different courses: Photography I, Advanced Photography, and Publication Design.

I vividly remember Professor Seymour walking into class for the first day of that 2017 Spring semester. Much like the other thousands of days that Professor Seymour walked into a classroom, he had his black leather brief case in tow. He was short, chubby, almost always in blue jeans, a dress shirt, and exotic brightly colored Nike sneakers, usually either red or blue. In the winter time he always wore a bright orange beanie.

One of the first things I learned about Professor Seymour was that he was a walking photography encyclopedia. Early on, it was made very clear that he had a passion for photography and loved every aspect to it. He began learning about his passion in a time when photographs needed to be developed, and he successfully evolved with the technological developments. Professor Seymour forgot more about photography than I’ll ever know about it.

Students in the class, myself included, were not only exposed to lectures about how to be an excellent photographer, but also about the history of the field and all its major timeline events. Professor Seymour also weaved in his own personal experiences.

Truthfully, I struggled in his class. I fell behind and did not speak up until two weeks before the semester ended. I was worried that he would view me just like any other struggling student who waited until the last minute. Instead, he emailed me everyday, asking me when I could meet so he could help me catch up. I ended up finishing everything I needed to do and he passed me. If it wasn’t for his genuine care for me, I absolutely would not have passed.

After what Professor Seymour had done for me, it felt like I owed him something. So in turn I registered for his Publication Design class. But that still didn’t feel like enough. I also elected to do an Independent Study under his advisory in the fall of 2017. It was during that time when we began to develop a wonderful friendship.

Together, in Room 225 of the Communication Building, in essentially a broom closet, Professor and I collaborated on developing, editing, printing, sizing, framing, and hanging the work of students all over the building. We turned that broom closet into an office built for two and I’ll never forget that.

It was there in that make-shift office that Professor and I bonded over photography, music, politics, and the joys of life. Professor loved jazz, and he introduced me to an array of different artists. We also shared the same political beliefs. But it was his stories from his past that dominated most of our time spent together.

I talked to a lot of students who thought that Professor was “full of himself” or “talked about himself too much” but the reality is – those are the best kind of teachers. And, he wasn’t doing it to be arrogant or cocky. He told thousands of stories because of his passion to educate, and spread the lessons that he once received as a young man.

One of most endearing traits that Professor possessed was that he was incredibly patient, something that I unfortunately am not. In a field that requires tedious work, filled with exact amounts, Professor never appeared to be in any kind of rush. And even when I didn’t understand something, he would take as long as possible before he knew I understood.

As a joke, I used to call myself his unofficial assistant. But now, as I dwell on our relationship and reminisce of all his stories and what he’s taught me, I’d like to take the liberty to officially declare him as my first mentor, and I his assistant. The Communication Department has some big shoes to fill - red and blue Nikes, that is.

In closing, I am truly honored, and incredibly blessed to have known Martin Seymour and taken up a paragraph or two in his life’s book. I wish I had recorded or written down some of his stories so I could listen to them again in these times of mourning. I’ll miss my Professor, but I think I’ll miss my friend even more."

Dwight Bachmann
University Relations
"Wow. Martin worked in University Relations before joining the Communication Department. He, too, was a kind man, a talented photographer who knew his craft and a real team player. I loved his honesty when he provided a fresh perspective on images to be used in our publications. Most of all, Martin reveled in fun. I enjoyed the smile on his face and his ability to laugh. May God bless Martin’s family, and may he rest in peace."

Christine Guarnieri-Benham
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
Ansel Adams
"That was Martin. He taught his students well with 21st century technology, but he was brilliant in teaching old school darkroom techniques and anyone who had the good fortune to take a course with him saw his creativity and passion. I am richer for the memories I share with Martin."

John Murphy
"This is very sad news! Martin was a joy to work with and his love of students and sharing the art and technology of photography was exhilarating and contagious. I worked with him for many years in my department and his energy and devotion was inspiring. I will miss his smile and humor and presence.
RIP Martin, thank you and well done! 📷 📸 📷 📸😎"

Anita Lee
Health Sciences
"R.I.P. Prof. Seymour. This is a true loss of Eastern."

Terri Toles-Patkin
"Like my colleagues, I’m still reeling from this news and still trying to process this loss. Martin was passionate about photography, about his students, and about Eastern. He made sure that student projects got displayed – just take a look in the hallways of the Communication Building, where he rotated exhibits frequently – and put in many hours preparing exhibits for CREATE and the Excellence Expo. He was willing to stand up for his beliefs, that chemical photography was worth preserving, but at the same time, he was eager to learn new technologies, becoming fluent in digital image-making and mentoring students in portfolio preparation.

Martin mentored many students with an interest in photography, offering them lab assistantships and other opportunities to grow their skills beyond the courses offered. It’s a testament to his leadership that his students have stepped forward with offers of assistance to the department at this time. He participated enthusiastically in Communication Department meetings and generously offered his insights into our activities over the years. He truly went “above and beyond” in many ways."

Jehoon Jeon
"Yes, this is very sad and I just cannot believe his passing. I met Martin on Monday and I feel so sorry that I did not have a chance to talk enough time as we were in the meeting..I remember him as a very kind person who always wants to show his dark room to anyone. He had pride in his work and had many stories about each of his works in the past. He usually helped our department when we have any school-wide events (e.g., CREATE conference, open house, …)"

Eastern student
"Martin was truly gifted in both his art and ability to explain the science of photography and engage students in seeing and creating images. What a loss!"

Jessica Dastous
Eastern alum
Class of 2017
"Professor Martin Seymour was one of the most passionate individuals I have ever met. Back in 2016, when I decided I wanted to add photography to my portfolio I decided to take his intro course during my undergrad. I soon found out how much he loved his field in Photography and conveyed that love in the classroom to his fellow students. Professor Seymour instilled that passion and creativity for photography within me as a student. He was eager to teach his students everything he had learned within the fashion industry. He was proud of all his accomplishment. One of the instances I remember distinctly from his course is to not fear failure. He told us he had submitted hundreds of portfolios before finally getting a call back in New York, which launched his reputable career. As a creative myself, this really stuck with me. It is because of Professor Seymour I found my passion for graphic design, landing a job at Mohegan Sun in our advertising department. I now have the opportunity to use the skills I learned in both of his photography courses in my everyday life. Not only did he teach us programs such as photoshop and dreamweaver, but we were some of the last students to use the dark room at ECSU. His class was one of my favorites as an undergrad and I looked forward to it each week. Professor Seymour will be missed by many and his legacy will live in through his medium."

Mary Jean Wakefield
"Martin Seymour was a kind person who loved his craft. I remember him telling me how the spiral nautilus sculpture that seconds as a gathering place for students (outside of Webb) was a field trip destination for he and his students. He would bring the students to the top floor and have them look down while he explained the Fibonacci sequence and how it relates to photography. I always enjoyed our short conversations as we passed in the halls of the Communication building. He will truly be missed."

David Stoloff
Professor, Education Department
I received the news of Martin's passing just as I was referring my students to his website -
Instructional Model for an ECSU Undergraduate Student ePortfolio -
Martin was ahead of his time as he encouraged his students to develop electronic portfolios to archive their creativity in photography and in their learning and memories while at Eastern.

His students' creativity and his influence, sense of wonder, and humor are also reflected in the photo gallery on the first floor of the classroom wing in Webb.
I will miss his calming tone and perspectives and his dedication to his students, his art, and to Eastern.
Martin, thank you for your teaching and memories that remain online.

Stephen Horvath
ECSU Alumni 2017
"Very sad news. I worked very closely with Martin during my time at ECSU. I did all of his photo and design classes including a number of independent studies and was his photo assistant for my internship. His experience, knowledge, and passion was truly an inspiration. He was a great mentor and friend. He is one of the major reason I had such a positive college experience. He will be missed greatly."

Eastern faculty
"Martin was truly a dedicated faculty member and mentor to his students. He will be missed."

Eastern faculty
"Martin Seymour was a very dedicated photographer and artist whose talents travel far beyond his humble and gentle personality. He was always proud to share his enormous and diverse photography experiences with his friends and colleagues. The vast array of his work on the field would make every one who loves photography envious. Widely traveled and a keen follower of politics, Martin's qualities are endearing and I will surely miss his collegial nature. RIP, gentleman Martin."

La Shawn McBride
Human Resources
"I was both shocked and saddened to learn of Marty's passing. I saw Marty once a month for the past 5 1/2 years. We would catch up on how his semester was going. He would talk about his love for reading and would tell me about the book he was reading at the time. I almost signed up to take his photography class, but I never did. Marty will be missed and I am glad time and space allowed our paths to cross. Rest Well, Marty."

Eastern professor
"Martin Seymour was a great teacher and a great colleague. He was a perfectionist in his own work and forgiving of errors and oversights in the work of others.
He continued to understand the technology, the history, and the philosophy of anything he set out to learn.

He would say that, “Some people take photographs and some people make photographs.”

He had an understanding of human motivation that allowed him to create compelling works of art that could reach a viewer, and the technical to skills to produce the effects he was looking for.

Many of his students came to me in the days after he died and asked what they could do. I told them what I think Martin would have said:
“Do your best, all the time.”

Eastern Alum, 2018
"Professor Seymour had such a passion for his work and he was always willing to share his love for art and design. He brought kindness and creativity to the classroom. I took several of Professor Seymour’s classes and to this day I use the tips and tricks he taught me. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family."