Living life to learn

"I'll miss her enthusiasm and her zest for life. It's not that she didn't get angry about things or upset about things, but I don't ever recall her doing anything mean. She was always willing to do whatever needed to be done, to be helpful, whatever. As we grow older, we lose our sense of wonder -- she never lost her sense of wonder."

-- Carole Lohman, Education Library Reference Assistant

"I will remember her as a very kind, sensitive, caring person. Most of my memories of her involve her being there for people when they were going through tough times -- she was always willing to offer a hug or words of comfort, even if it was just sitting next to you, holding your hand quietly. She was always willing to support her friends. And I think the world has lost a wonderful teacher -- she was so excited about being able to do that. I think she's exactly the type of person the world needed to be doing that."

-- Jonathan Green, fourth-year College student

"Lizzy was the type of person who found a way to positively overcome any setbacks, and she maintained a positive energy even through the longest and the most difficult things. This energy really infected the rest of us and helped us all do better work. She worked hard in every position she was given, in every job. She provided an integrity to any work she was given, which really set an example for the rest of us to do good work and to take pride in what we do, no matter how small the task."

-- Kate Brennan, second-year Graduate Arts & Sciences student

"She was always smiling; she had a great sense of humor; she loved to joke around. She was a really bright, vibrant young person, full of life. She reveled in small pleasures -- anything that we did to remember her made her really happy. I can still remember the day she came in and told us she had met George Clinton. She had been on her way to work and he stopped her and wanted to know where the nearest ATM was. So she told him, and she came just bouncing in here on cloud nine, saying she just ran into George Clinton and he had given her two backstage passes. There are just a thousand small things everyday that remind us of Lizzy. The other day I was doing statistics, and she had signed up on a sheet of paper with her initials, and it just brought her face and her smile right up."

-- Jane Walker, Education Library Specialist

"I think Lizzy Hafter was one of the kindest, most generous people in the drama department, and outside of it, and I'm truly saddened by her loss."

-- Morgan Geisert, fourth-year College student

"She always seemed to try harder than most people, and she had a good spirit and a good energy about her and a good work ethic, a tremendous work ethic actually, and was very selfless. I saw her in a couple plays, most notably 'The Shape of Things,' which Spectrum Theater did last spring. Not many people saw it, but she stood out, not only because of her performance, but because she was so watchable, and it was a talent that I wish more people could have seen, and we unfortunately don't see very often in this building and in other venues."

-- Matt Fletcher, fourth-year College student

"When she would come in [to the office], she would just break out into song or she would dance. She did cartwheels in this office all the time. She loved to make people laugh -- she was definitely an entertainer. Another thing I'll never forget is when I got [a new] desk. I just got that desk about a year ago, and when they delivered it and they built it, there was nothing on it at all. And she came in the office, she saw the desk there and she just slid and laid all the way across it, and she started kicking her leg and doing the Marilyn Monroe [imitation], and we were just rolling on the floor laughing, it was so funny -- the first thing that went on my desk was Lizzy. She had such a strong family connection, it really resonated here in the office that she was so close to her family and it meant so much to her."

-- Barbara Hatcher, Education Library Technical Services Supervisor

"Very youthful in spirit, Lizzy was tenacious and extremely committed to her work. She would have made a marvelous teacher."

-- Kate Burke, associate professor of drama

"Lizzy annoyed me about 80 percent of the time, but I never disliked her for it. Not many people can be annoying and endearing at the same time, but she was annoying because she didn't let you slide by. She didn't let you slide under the radar -- she talked to everybody, and she cared about everybody, genuinely cared about everybody. People die, and you want to say nice things about them. Sometimes it's hard to say nice things about them, or sometimes it's a little forced, but it's so real and so genuine and so true that she was one of the most gentle and kind souls. She wanted everybody right there with her, present and loving life with her. And she didn't care if you didn't want to hear what she had to say, she was going to say it anyway. In life we need more people like her, with her spirit. But especially in this business, in theater and in education, like she was, we need more people like that, who are happy doing whatever they need to do. Like flipping a switch or mopping a floor or being an actress, we need more people who are just happy being, and she was always happy being. I think that that's something that sometimes you live your whole life to try to find -- she had it already. I don't really believe in God, but doesn't it always seem like that's how it happens? People like that are the ones who go first, because maybe they're ready, and we're not. That's how I explain it to myself, and that's how I make it okay -- is to know that she was probably ready."

-- Mindy Miller, fourth-year College student

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