Community Remember The Fire and Passion of Beloved Professor Perkins


Twelve days after the semester ended, a beloved psychology professor at Mercy College passed away in his home in Bedford. 

George Perkins, 58, died suddenly on May 27. Perkins obituary stated that he passed away in his home and he is survived by his wife, brother, aunt and uncle. A mass was held on June 1 for his remembrance.

Perkins was a beloved professor at Mercy. He always walked into class with a smiling face and always pushed to see the best in his students. Not only did he enjoy being a professor, but he loved what he taught and multiple students have been upset hearing about the news. 

He was an avid Mets and Rangers fan and spoke about it in his classes, making it very known he was a New York sports fan. 

Perkins was a professor at Mercy College from the Spring of 1999 to the Spring of 2019. Not only was he professor, but he also earned his master’s degree from Mercy College as well.

Students were upset to hear about the passing once the fall semester began and were stunned to hear the news. Some mentioned they wished they had known about it earlier. 

“A great teacher. I wish an announcement was released about his passing,” said Nicole Castellano, a senior at Mercy College.

Castellano took three psychology classes: Abnormal, Health, and Psychology of Learning with Perkins, and knew him for around a year. She described him as funny because he was always cracking jokes in class about himself and the psychology world. She also described him as caring because of the way he treated his students, he would always have a review session before tests and would help students as much as possible with their work. Last, Castellano described him as talkative for the stores he would tell in class that would take up almost an entire class time.

Jessica Berka, a senior, took Psychology of Learning with Perkins and was also just as heartbroken to hear the news about her beloved professor. She took him because of a recommendation from her teammate and she instantly fell in love with the class and the professor himself. She desired to take more classes with the professor in later semesters.

“I wish a statement was made, and I knew earlier about his passing because I’m sure there would’ve been many students and faculty who would’ve gone to show their condolences to his family,” Berka stated when speaking about when she found out about his passing.

Berka described Perkins as a passionate and funny man. He was passionate because he truly cared about his job and his students, funny because of all the stories he told, and just all around an awesome person who students felt great being around.

“Perkins was one of the best professors I’ve ever had here throughout my four years at Mercy,” Berka said.

Some students left messages on his obituary. One message was more special than others.

Prof. George was the best as he cares about all his students. He doesn’t treat you as a student but as a son of his. After hearing that you are gone, I said to myself that life is too short,” wrote Mujahed Alawadi, one of the two students that left a note for the family on his obituary. 

Students weren’t the only ones who were harmed from the news, two of his colleagues also were saddened to hear the news. 

One of the former professors who watched him earn his Master’s degree in his graduate program was Dr. Mary Kelly. 

Kelly described Perkins as positive and friendly. She also spoke highly of him as a student of hers.

“George was one of the brightest students in the program and a pleasure to work with,” Kelly stated. 

Kelly also mentioned that Perkins was willing to help other students and advised he continue for a doctoral degree. 

Even though Perkins became a professor at Mercy, Perkins would still call Kelly, Dr. Kelly instead of her real name, Mary. 

Kelly was the person who linked Perkins to Dr. Ellen Sperber, who also mentioned a few words about Perkins. 

Sperber is the program director and staffs the psychology professors at Mercy. Kelly recommended Perkins to her because she thought he would be a great fit as a teacher.

“Perkins was a great teacher, he was reliable and dependable. He always taught the maximum of three classes per semester,” Sperber said. 

The two mentioned how Perkins would always be hanging around after his classes and other teachers would have to wait to walk into their classrooms because he would be talking and helping his students. That shows how much he cared about his students and the Mercy community.

“Such a loss. He will be missed.”