Carnegie Mellon University Home

Dietrich College News

The plaque honoring Jeffrey L. Zaslow (DC'80) was revealed at a private ceremony during Spring Carnival. It fittingly faces a plaque for Randy Pausch on “The Pausch Bridge,” which connects one of the university’s fine arts buildings, Purnell Center, with the Gates & Hillman Centers, the home for computer science at Carnegie Mellon.

April 2013

Scholarship, Plaque Honor Jeffrey L. Zaslow (DC’80)

To honor the memory of Jeffrey L. Zaslow (DC’80) – a best-selling author and longtime Wall Street Journal columnist, Carnegie Mellon University unveiled a new plaque and announced a scholarship program in his name.

Zaslow, who majored in creative writing within the Dietrich College’s Department of English, may be best remembered at Carnegie Mellon for co-authoring "The Last Lecture" with the late CMU Computer Science Professor Randy Pausch. The plaque, revealed at a private ceremony during Spring Carnival, fittingly faces a plaque for Pausch on “The Pausch Bridge,” which connects one of the university’s fine arts buildings, Purnell Center, with the Gates & Hillman Centers, the home for computer science at Carnegie Mellon.

The plaque reads, “In Loving Memory of Jeffrey L. Zaslow, Dietrich College, Class of 1980. Creative Writing Alumnus, Journalist, Author, and Co-Author of ‘The Last Lecture” (2008) with Professor Randy Pausch, School of Computer Science, Class of 1988. October 6, 1958 – February 10, 2012. Made Possible Through the Generosity of the Many Friends and Admirers of Jeff Zaslow.”

“We want future generations of students to know how special he [Zaslow] was,” said CMU President Jared L. Cohon during the ceremony.

President Cohon also announced the “Jeffrey L. Zaslow Scholarship for Writing Students,” made possible by gifts from several of Zaslow’s friends and admirers.

“This endowed scholarship will support future writers of the world, year after year, and will create a lasting legacy of Jeff’s impact on Carnegie Mellon students,” Cohon said.

In addition to “The Last Lecture,” Zaslow authored "Highest Duty," a book about airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who safely landed a jetliner in the Hudson River in New York City after birds damaged the jet's engines. He also was a contributor to "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope," which chronicles the recovery of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords after she was tragically shot at a political gathering in Tucson, Ariz. His most recent book, "The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters," was published in December 2011.

Zaslow was dedicated to CMU and its students. He became an annual speaker during CMU's freshman orientation activities, speaking about his days writing the book with Pausch, the lessons he learned from the experience and his student days at CMU. He also frequently visited classes to speak with students. In 2009, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association.

Zaslow’s wife, Sherry Margolis, two of his daughters and several friends, classmates and former professors, attended the ceremony. Current student Todd Medema (TPR’14) spoke about how he read “The Last Lecture” as a sophomore in high school and that is how he became interested in Carnegie Mellon.

“I learned about the summer program for high school students, and, in the spirit of ‘The Last Lecture,’ I raised the $5,000 to attend the program,” said Medema. “Then, during my freshman orientation, I met Jeff Zaslow and told him how much his words meant and inspired me.”

Additional speakers included Dietrich College Dean John Lehoczky who said, “We are here today because Jeff Zaslow left an imprint.”

Gerald Costanzo, professor of English who has been teaching for 43 years, called Zaslow’s work in his Survey of Forms: Poetry class “legendary.”

“Jeff didn’t set out to be a poet, but he was fascinated by it, and he was always up for a challenge,” Constanzo said. “By far, he was my best student.”

Fred Siegel (DC’79), Zaslow’s college roommate and friend, and Anne Witchner, assistant dean of student affairs, also shared stories.

For more information on Jeffrey L. Zaslow, visit http://www.hss.cmu.edu/pressreleases/pressreleases/zaslow.html.

Stay connected with CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences on Twitter and Facebook.

Other sources of Carnegie Mellon news include the university news service website and the Carnegie Mellon Today magazine.

Contact Shilo Rea, Director of Public Relations at shilo@cmu.edu or (412) 268-6094.

 

About the Quick Links

Follow the Dietrich College on Twitter and Facebook.
Sign up to receive Dietrich College News, the college's monthly e-newsletter.

  Mapping the Future of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University — which has a long history of the humanities and social sciences collaborating with other fields to solve problems — and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences held the first Pittsburgh-area discussion of the "Heart of the Matter" report and its implications for improving education and creating a sustainable global society. Read more.   Watch the video.  View photos.
  David Danks Appointed Head of Department of Philosophy
Danks has been selected to head CMU's Department of Philosophy, effective July 1, 2014. Danks, associate professor of philosophy and psychology, succeeds Richard Scheines, who is stepping down to become dean of the Dietrich College. Read more.
  Christopher R. Genovese To Head Department of Statistics
CMU has selected Genovese to head its Department of Statistics, a global leader in applying statistics to many areas of science, technology, policy and education, effective July 1, 2014. Genovese, professor of statistics, succeeds Mark Schervish, who has served as department head for the past 10 years Read more.
  Dietrich College News: March 2014
Features this month social media and the Mexican drug war, visual neuroscience, student scholarship winner, alumni profiles and much more. Read Dietrich College News.
  How the Internet and Social Media Have Shaped the "Drug War" in Mexico
In a new paper, Paul Eiss examines how both sides of the drug war — the cartel operatives as well as government and security forces — have used and responded to digital and social media. Read more.
  Jeria Quesenberry Wins Distinguished Teaching Award
Quesenberry, who joined the Information Systems (IS) Program in 2007, has become a key member of the IS faculty and has been intimately involved with all critical aspects of the program’s development and expansion both in Pittsburgh and Qatar. Read more.
  Student Wins Unprecedented Back-To-Back State Department Scholarships
The U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) are extremely competitive and coveted. When Dervla McDonnell (A, DC’15) was awarded one last year, it was quite an accomplishment. But now the junior fine art and Japanese Studies major has won a second scholarship, making her one of the very few to participate in the CLS Program for two years in a row. Read more.
  New Dietrich Honors Fellowship Program Announced
The program will provide summer funding support to rising seniors in the Dietrich College senior honors program as they undertake early-stage research and development of their thesis topics. Read more.
  Richard Scheines Appointed Dean of Dietrich College
Scheines, professor and head of the Department of Philosophy, has been selected to lead the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences as dean, effective July 1, 2014. He will succeed John Lehoczky, who has served as dean since 2000 and will return to the Department of Statistics’ faculty. Read more.
  Students, Alumni Attend Under Construction
Nearly 60 alumni returned to support 150 current students and help them build their careers. The second annual “Under Construction: Building Your Future” event encouraged students and alumni to explore the diverse fields available after graduation. Read more.
  Video: The Humanities at Carnegie Mellon University
The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud to have distinguished faculty and talented students who are leading the humanities into the 21st century. In this short video, Dietrich College faculty, staff and alumni talk about the college’s excellence in the humanities. Watch the video.

 

H&SS Home | Admissions | Advising & Careers | Departments & Programs | Research | Computing & Libraries | News | Alumni

Site Index | About H&SS | Message from the Dean

 

Carnegie Mellon University
College of Humanities & Social Sciences | 5000 Forbes Avenue | Baker Hall 154 | Pittsburgh, PA 15213 | (412) 268-2830