To see the potential of others and guide them to greatness is a gift.
To inspire in hearts and minds an insatiable passion for knowledge is to be a teacher.
To garner the respect of all simply by being yourself is to be noble.
Susan Tifft is a gift to all who know her. Each of us who had the pleasure of spending time in her company will carry her legacy, her lessons, her joie de vivre onward in life. I met Professor Tifft as a freshman, as her student. Through college, she became a mentor—the embodiment of what journalism should always be. In her classroom the lessons expanded beyond a syllabus. I learned what it meant to be an elegant, professional woman… with just the right combination of smarts and moxy to go toe-to-toe with the boys.
In the years since Duke, “Professor Tifft” became Susan, the world traveler with a love for dancing and good wine. A beloved friend, sister and wife, she celebrated each of our life’s accomplishments and allowed us to be part of hers. My friend was a woman who laughed, and found eternal optimism and happiness no matter the circumstances.
It is my wish that each of you has such a force of good in your life. It is a rare and wonderful thing to have someone believe in you, to have someone support you, to have someone mean to you what Susan Tifft did to all of us.
So tonight, as I sit here and watch the day end, I think of Alex, Sara and Doug, of all the colleagues, students and others who are celebrating the life of one phenomenal person.
And I think of Susan, raise a glass of good wine and say: thank you my teacher, my friend.
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