Leigh Briscoe-Dwyer '87 Honors Jeffrey Fudin '81 '98

During Reunion Weekend, Leigh Briscoe-Dwyer '87 honored the memory of Jeffrey Fudin '81 '98 during the tree dedication ceremony.

In the Jewish faith, the planting of a tree helps celebrate, honor and commemorate the life of a loved one. It symbolizes, growth, renewal and the seasons of life. I think we would all agree that the life Jeff lived and the impact he had on so many of us deserve to be celebrated and honored. 

This is a gingko tree. We often associate ginkgo with memory. How fitting a choice that this medicinal garden will now also serve as a memory garden in the place where Jeff was both a student and teacher and a place where he reached so many of us – much like the leaves on this tree. 

Both pharmacist and teacher to the very end, Jeff documented his cancer journey in his “Making Lemonade out of Lemons” blog. He taught us about cancer, being a patient and self advocate, treating cancer-associated nausea and about humility and being human. I learned how important it is to be grateful for every day and that there is nothing more powerful or more healing than being able to say “I love you”.

As a nod to Jeff’s blog, and at his request from his final post, I brought lemon drops to share. They signify both the sweetness of love and the bitterness of having to say goodbye with the understanding that you can’t have one without the other.  

In the shadow of this tree that has the capacity to live for 1000 years, I end with a passage from Mitch Album’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven:

"Lost love is still love. It just takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens: Memory.  Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it. 

"Life has to end. Love doesn’t."

If you would like to honor Jeff’s memory with a gift to the scholarship fund in his name, please click here.