Tailgate at Old Main in style

August 16, 2012

Reserve Old Main for a Sun Devil Football tailgate by Sept. 15 and receive six ASU-branded pub tables for free.
This football season, the ASU Alumni Association is offering customizable tailgating packages for ASU faculty and staff. With a tailgate menu by Atlasta Catering, a visit from Sparky, ASU-themed pub tables, and an elegant Old Main setting, your colleagues can tailgate in cool comfort and style, counting down the couple of hours until kickoff.
Contact Robin Hawkins for more information, or to reserve Old Main for your tailgate.

Lisa Robbins

editor/publisher, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Alumni Association to sell Sparky license plates at Old Main

August 14, 2012

ASU supporters who want to display Sun Devil pride on their vehicle will soon have a new location where they can purchase the official ASU collegiate license plate: Old Main, the ASU Alumni Association’s headquarters.

More than 14,000 Arizona vehicles have the plates, which also are known as Sparky plates. The plates cost $25, and $17 from each plate sold goes directly to the Alumni Association’s Medallion Scholarship fund, a comprehensive scholarship program that incorporates components of leadership, scholarship and service. Download Full Image

Jennifer Holsman Tetreault, executive director of operations at the Alumni Association, explained the organization has been designated as an authorized third-party plate provider by the state’s Motor Vehicle Division. The Old Main location will sell personalized and non-personalized Sparky plates, as well as regular Arizona license plates.

“Our all-gold Sparky plates have proven to be incredibly popular, but Sun Devils have busy lives and need a convenient location where they can pick up the plates,” she said. “Old Main is in the heart of ASU’s Tempe campus, and is a fitting place to provide plates that honor the university’s spirit, pride and traditions.”

License plates will be sold at Old Main during the ASU Alumni Association’s regular business hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The building is located at 400 E. Tyler Mall, near the cross streets of University Drive and College Avenue in Tempe. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the license plate office within the Alumni Association is set to take place at 4 p.m., Aug. 24, at Old Main.

For more information on purchasing a Sparky Plate, visit alumni.asu.edu/services/sparky-plates. To learn more about the Medallion Scholarship Program, the beneficiary of the license plate program, visit alumni.asu.edu/services/student-scholarships/medallion-scholarship.

Memoir graphically details a life of drug abuse

August 13, 2012

When he was in the fourth grade at a Catholic school in Bridgeport, Conn., the nuns asked him to cut his hair. “But Jesus had long hair,” was Matthew Parker’s response. And he refused to trim his locks.

“My teacher, Sister Magdalene, would put pink ribbons in my hair and taunt me in front of the class,” Parker wrote in his newly issued – and first book – “Larceny in My Blood: A Memoir of Heroin, Handcuffs, and Higher Education.” Download Full Image

“Red-faced, I’d always remove them, and she’d always responded with violence. I failed fourth grade that year, and was kept back. Much to my relief, my mom moved me to public school the following year.”

But, Parker, who graduated from ASU in 2007 at the age of 47, wrote, “After that, whenever someone in authority would tell me to do one thing, I’d do the opposite.”

Parker’s graphic memoir, which he illustrated with his own drawings, tells his story of drug abuse, prison and jail time, theft, sexual promiscuity and addiction.

He was born in Bridgeport, one of four siblings. It was not a happy home. “My father was not only a drunk but was physically and mentally abusive – to all of us, but to my mom most of all,” Parker wrote.

“In retaliation, she stopped cooking for him, bleached her hair blonde, and began swearing like a sailor.”

His father moved out, and his parents divorced in 1965. “She took a low-paying job and almost immediately turned to larceny, mostly with crimes of shoplifting,” Parker said.

“She then collected welfare while working, a serious felony. Mom was evolving criminally.”

His mother soon began to sell marijuana, and so did Parker. “I sold it by the ounce. I made twenty grand my first year, when I was 13,” he wrote.

Three years later, he started the long road into and out of addiction to heroin. “I was 16 the first time I stuck a needle in my arm,” Parker said.

By 1977, he had already been arrested three times. Before it was all over, he would be arrested more than 30 times and spend 11 years in various county, state and federal jails and prisons.

All the while, his talent for writing lurked beneath the surface, and could, possibly, have saved him. He wrote, “As a child, I was enchanted by the magic I found in books. Reading books soon turned to writing. I wrote my first poem and my first short story in fifth grade and began a fantasy novel by high school, but I never took my writing too seriously.”

He chose, instead, to leave school, seeing “the illusion of magic” in drugs instead of the true magic of writing.

After his last release from prison, in 2002, Parker came to an enormous fork in the road of his life. He overdosed at his mother’s house in Scottsdale and almost fell back into the life of an addict. The look on his mother’s face, when she realized he had once again used heroin, changed his mind, however.

He wrote in his memoir, “The level of sad acceptance on my mom’s face motivates me to stay clean. I vow that it’s the last time I’ll ever stick a needle in my arm. I use once or twice after that, but the magic is gone. I decide, once and for all, to never use again.”

Heroin had such a grip on him because he “always abhorred control,” he said. “So I believed that, in being a junkie, I was very cleverly living outside the control of society and, specifically, the drug laws I'd seen as senseless. It wasn't until I realized, as I celebrated my 40th birthday in a Maricopa County jail, that nowhere was I more in the control of what I viewed as an unjust legal system than when I was in that jail and/or a slave to heroin.”

Parker enrolled in Scottsdale Community College and then Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. After he graduated from ASU, he earned a MFA degree in creative writing from Columbia University.

After years of mistrust and disappointment, Parker said his friends and relatives now trust that he will never use drugs and go back to prison again.

“It’s been 10 years, after all, since I last used an illegal drug. But believing in me came hardest to my mother. She’d seen the pattern repeated too many times in the past – a few weeks clean, then a hard fall followed by more jail or prison time.

“I don’t think she fully trusted me until 2003, a year after my release from prison. I became an honor student at Scottsdale Community College that semester, and also made the Dean’s List. It was enough for my mom to finally believe that education was my new drug.”

Parker said he tried heroin “because I was burned out on all the drugs of the day – barbiturates, amphetamines, LSD, PCP, and even pot and alcohol. It was the mid-1970s, and drug use was ubiquitous. Heroin seemed the logical next step, and was the right, or wrong, choice, depending on your perspective.

“The right choice because heroin is relatively clean when compared to amphetamines or even legal substances like alcohol and nicotine, and the wrong choice because of its highly addictive properties, and the penalties for choosing heroin over legal and socially acceptable substances were draconian.”

When he enrolled in college, Parker was unsure about what to major in. “I always had a love for military aircraft, NASA, and the science connected with the mysteries inherent in the universe,” he said. “But physics confounded me and my math sucked. I did, however, manage to incorporate science into my honors thesis for Barrett– specifically, Darwinian themes in literature.”

Though he had written poetry in fifth grade, Parker soon learned that his talent did not lie in this area, either. Cynthia Hogue, professor of English and Marshall Chair in Poetry at ASU, said, “Matt started out in poetry with me, for a year, at the end of which I said, ‘Matt, you have so many stories to give to the world (but you don't have poems!). Take creative nonfiction!’ And so began his odyssey, for he did take CNF, and then, God bless him, he got into Columbia!”

Parker’s professors at both Scottsdale Community College and ASU were, perhaps, startled when they learned the background of their “mature” student, but they soon realized how much he could add to their classes.

Sandra Desjardins, a professor of English and humanities and director of the Creative Writing Program at SCC, said, “I will never forget the day I first met Matthew. I was in my office grading writing, and there was a knock at the door. In came Matthew, wearing what I would come to recognize as his signature style: a very worn denim jacket and jeans. He reminded me of Bob Dylan. I remember his eyes, shy yet intense, as he told me about wanting to enroll in my creative writing class. I could not have known at that moment that I was embarking on a most remarkable friendship.

“He took the class more than once, and made many wonderful friends with whom he is still in touch. Matthew also took my humanities survey course where he excelled in connecting the conceptual dots among centuries of history, literature, music, religion, and art. I have always respected his analytical mind and his capacity for critical thinking. He was an exceptional honors student, and I never doubted that he could accomplish whatever he put his mind to.

“It was my hope that Matthew would attend my alma mater because I knew he would love New York City, and it would love him! When he had to take the entrance exams, he was so cared about by so many of us at the college, that a ‘Send Matthew to Columbia’ fund was created. Matthew’s journey to fully understanding and honoring his own integrity, intelligence, compassion, talents, and joy for life is certainly compelling.”

Matthew C. Whitaker, ASU Foundation Professor of History, said, “Matthew was one of the wisest and most determined students that I have ever taught. Indeed, his experiences and perspectives motivated him, gave him clarity, and transfixed his peers.

“Having him in class was like having a ‘co-structor’ at times. He was more than willing to legitimize much of what I said through the power of his own experiences and I was very grateful for his participation. His inspirational and righteous reclamation is one of the most instructive narratives I have ever known.”

Hogue particularly remembers Parker’s involvement in a service-learning program, which was an optional part of her “Poetics of Bearing Witness” class.

The service-learning project was to help establish an after-school creative writing club for sixth graders at Kenilworth School, many of whom were underprivileged and Hispanic.

“He also volunteered to pick the children up from their school every week because our SL office didn’t have enough drivers. That added an extra hour each week to Parker’s time, but in this way, he ensured that the children arrived safely,” Hogue said. “He wrote a reflective journal every week (part of the course work), full of details about the children, their differing personalities and the extraordinary poems they were writing. Full, as well, of Parker’s great heart.”

One of Parker’s journal entries included this thought:

“Afterwards I was driving home, just before 6 p.m., and a full rainbow spread from north to south, its natural color contrasting the grey sky and somber Phoenix skyline. Here’s an occurrence, I couldn’t help thinking, that should resurrect the poet in all of us, at least for a little while.”

Elizabeth McNeil, a professor of languages and cultures at ASU, was Parker’s academic adviser and had him as a student in her course on ecofeminism.

Over his time at ASU, she got to know him as a friend, as well as a student. “Matthew brought a lot into my life, actually – friendship, music, his family, a slew of creative people, and a perspective on prison that has supported my work with inmates as well as my ability to understand better the situations of some relatives and friends.”

McNeil started a book-donation and education program in prisons through the Department of English, and has collected and delivered more than 10,000 books to Arizona prisons and one out-of-state women’s prison. She also has taught poetry in several prisons.

McNeil said of Parker, “Matthew's openness, honesty, sense of social justice, and total confidence in his writing path have been inspiring to me and my family. His challenges and achievements have also been big motivators for other inmates and ex-convicts with whom I've had the pleasure of sharing Matthew's incredible story.”

Parker said that writing the book, and drawing all the pictures, was both painful and healing. “When drawing a memory, I was forced to dwell in that memory much longer than if I was just writing it out in sentences and paragraphs,” he said. “The plus side of this was that I would remember more, thus enhancing the experience as well as the writing. And although some of it may have been painful at the time, it was also wonderfully cathartic, akin to the grieving process.”

He now lives in New York City and is working on a prose memoir, and a novel, and he writes essays about “politics, felony disenfranchisement, the healthcare mandate that all jail and prison inmates enjoy, as well as many other topics.”

One of his essays, on the death penalty, was published in the New York Times Aug. 5.

When he’s not writing, he likes to take “long walks in the New York Botanical Gardens while music blares through my headphones. I also follow politics and sports pretty closely,” he said. “My TV is on all day as I write; politics during the day and sports – baseball, football, and hockey – during primetime. This is a consequence of doing time in noisy, bustling jails and prisons. I find that I need something going on in the background in order to concentrate while I write.”

Parker plans to marry his long-time girlfriend, a Colombian woman he met online in 2007, next summer.

He realizes that he is fortunate to be alive. “I did OD a couple times, was even taken to the hospital once, but the real danger came in buying drugs and/or the lifestyle. In buying drugs, the neighborhoods were often dangerous, particularly on the East Coast, and I’ve been robbed at knifepoint and shot at more than once,” Parker said. “I was also once pistol whipped severely by a dealer who believed I had robbed him. I thought for sure that I was going to die on that occasion.”

Parker said there are several themes in his memoir. “The main message is that spending money on incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders is counterproductive; that we'd serve the public much better by putting those untold billions into education, preventative or otherwise.

“Also of note is the healing power of music and education. It's never too late to learn, and I was always dismayed at the number of people who felt that they were incapable of learning, which was especially true amongst prisoners.”

ASU hosts Sun Devil Send Offs in China

August 10, 2012

Arizona State University held official Sun Devil Send Offs on July 1 in Shanghai and July 8 in Beijing, China, to welcome newly admitted freshmen and transfer students to the university.

The three-hour long events gave parents and students the opportunity to meet current students and alumni, who spoke to them about the resources available at ASU, shared their own experiences and, of course, taught the newcomers how to “throw the pitchfork.” Sun Devil Send Off Download Full Image

Arlene Chin, assistant director of international undergraduate admissions, and Kent Hopkins, vice provost, were also on site to help welcome the bunch to the Sun Devil family.

“These parents are sending their child away to school. For the student, it is exciting and a new adventure, but for the parents there is always some anxiety at the beginning,” Chin said. “We wanted to build the bridge between ASU and these families who may otherwise not have the opportunity to meet the staff their students will interact with.”

The event was so successful that by the end of the evening families were making dinner plans and agreeing to attend future Send Offs in their areas. Some families were even promising to spend the Chinese New Year together. Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year!)

Students had fun exchanging phone numbers and arranging to meet up in Tempe. Guanzhong Zou attended the Shanghai Send Off, where she was able to learn more about the American culture and connect with the university for the first time.

“It was very meaningful for me because ASU made me feel like [I was part] of a big family. Everyone was really nice and helpful. They told me how to achieve my academic goals and I learned about the American culture by communicating with local students,” she said.  

These were just the first of many Sun Devil Send Offs to come in China and globally as the university works to strengthen and build relationships abroad. The new students will join the 4,430 international students from 120 countries around the world.

“Our global events will soon be reflective of our university-wide global diversity,” Chin said.

Amy LePeilbet, Team USA win gold in London

August 9, 2012

Former ASU women's soccer player Amy LePeilbet became the first Sun Devil since 2004 to win a gold medal Thursday as the U.S. women's soccer team defeated Japan 2-1 to capture its third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

LePeilbet, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from ASU in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in sociology, started in five of the team's six matches at the London Olympics, including Thursday's gold medal game. Download Full Image


VIDEO: Amy LePeilbet reflects on her Sun Devil experience

A member of the national team since 2004, LePeilbet was one of the cornerstones of the Sun Devil Soccer program as ASU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament three times in her four years (2000-2003). LePeilbet was a two-time All-American and three-time All-Pac-10 Conference first-team selection. She never missed a start in her four years at ASU, playing in 74 career games.

LePeilbet, who was also a two-time Academic All-American, is one of just three Sun Devils to earn a team sport gold medal, joining Justin Huish (archery in 1996) and Joe Caldwell (men's basketball in 1964).

She is the first Sun Devil to earn a gold medal since Dwight Phillips won gold in Athens in 2004 for the long jump.

See list of Sun Devil medalists in Olympic history.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

Cheer on the Sun Devils before the big game

July 26, 2012

Beginning this football season, Atlasta Catering is offering customizable tailgating packages for ASU faculty, staff and alumni when the Sun Devils play at home, starting two hours before kickoff.

The tailgates can be reserved in advance for the use of two rooms in the historic Old Main building on the Tempe campus, including Carson Ballroom and Basha Library, and four rooms in the University Club. Download Full Image

With a tailgate menu by Atlasta, a visit from Sparky, and an elegant Old Main / University Club setting, you, your friends, family and colleagues can tailgate in cool comfort (plenty of air conditioning) and style, counting down the couple of hours until kickoff.

The tailgate package includes:

• chef's choice of tailgate buffet

• tables, chairs, white linens

• onsite staff

• setup and tear down

• visit from Sparky

• disposable/compostable plates, napkins, cups and flatware

• doors open 2 hours before game time

The locations available for the tailgate package are:

• Carson Ballroom at Old Main (minimum of 125 people)

• Basha Library at Old Main (minimum of 30 people)

• Bistro and Patio at the University Club (minimum of 50 people)

• Heritage Room at the University Club (minimum of 40 people)

• Traditions and Thoren Rooms at the University Club (minimum of 30 people)

Faculty-Staff Appreciation Night

ASU will host its inaugural faculty-staff tailgate Sept. 22 before the Sun Devils take on the University of Utah on Faculty-Staff Appreciation Night. More than 150 complimentary meals will be served to faculty staff on a first-registered, first-served basis.

More information is to come about this inaugural faculty-staff tailgating event.


Below is a list of ASU football home games, when the tailgating package is offered. The schedule, however, is subject to change. For a current schedule, visit thesundevils.com.

• Aug. 30 – Northern Arizona University, 7:30 p.m. kickoff – City of Tempe Night

• Sept. 8 – University of Illinois, 7:30 p.m. kickoff – Sun Devil Club Night, State of Arizona Employee Night

• Sept. 22 – University of Utah, kickoff TBA – Family Weekend, Hall of Fame Weekend, Faculty-Staff Appreciation Night

• Oct. 18 – University of Oregon, 6 p.m. kickoff – Ring of Honor Game

• Oct. 27 – UCLA, kickoff TBA – Homecoming

• Nov. 17 – Washington State, kickoff TBA – Senior Day, Sun Devil Salute to Service Day


To reserve a tailgate location, request more information, or ask about smaller group accommodations, contact Steve Short at 602-721-9556 or steve@atlastacatering.com.

Following a reservation request, an Evite invitation will be programmed for you to send to your guests, and a web page for reservations and payments will be created and emailed to you (similar to PayPal). You will be contacted with your specific tailgate location once details are confirmed.

To purchase game tickets, contact Jeff Rucker at 480-727-3501 or jeff.rucker@asu.edu.

For special assistance with marketing your tailgating event, contact Jenny Holsman Tetreault at 480-965-2086 or jholsman@asu.edu.

See you before the game ... and GO DEVILS!

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

Alumni Association brings home 7 awards for writing, design

July 23, 2012

The ASU Alumni Association recently received seven awards in the 24th annual Awards for Publication Excellence (APEX) competition. APEX is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from newsletters and magazines to annual reports, brochures and websites.

The association received two design awards for issues of ASU Magazine produced last year, including an Award of Excellence for the cover of the May 2011 issue and an Award of Excellence that recognized overall design excellence for the magazine. Download Full Image

The association also received an Award of Excellence in the Member & Customer Materials category for its “decades” membership campaign. The materials were designed by a graphic design team including Robert Cao-Ba, art director; Kelly Christiansen, graphic design specialist; and graphic design assistant Mindy DuPonte. 

Liz Massey, managing editor for the Alumni Association, received a Grand Award for her work on the association’s career-focused blog. An article that Massey edited for ASU Magazine – “Defending Against Data Disaster,” written by Lee Gimpel – received an Award of Excellence in the Technology & Science Writing category. ASU Magazine also was honored with an Award of Excellence for overall writing excellence.

Crystal Gustavson, digital media manager for the Alumni Association, received an Award of Excellence certificate in the Microsites & Individual Web Pages category for her work on The Venue at Old Main microsite. 

The 2012 APEX Awards program, which had nearly 3,400 entries this year, distributed awards in 11 major categories and 130 subcategories. This is the third year in a row the Alumni Association has received awards in the APEX competition.

ASU Travel & Tours offers glimpse into 'Heart of Cuba'

July 19, 2012

The ASU Alumni Association’s travel program ASU Travel & Tours has partnered with Collette Vacations, which has a license to operate its “Heart of Cuba” tour – a nine-day educational and cultural adventure scheduled to take place Nov. 1-9.

Travelers who embark on this journey will spend seven days in Cuba’s capital, Havana, and soak in the island’s culture, history and art. They will visit attractions that include La Cabaña Castle, the four plazas of Old Havana, and the inspiring Catedral de la Habana. Cuba Download Full Image

Other highlights of the tour will include a day trip to Lookout Farm, where Ernest Hemingway wrote “The Old Man and the Sea,” a stop at the Cuban Fine Arts Museum, and a visit to a Cuban cigar factory.

Jennifer Holsman Tetreault, executive director of operations for the Alumni Association, said the trip is a chance for ASU alumni to experience the culture of Cuba firsthand.

“Collette Vacations has planned an amazing itinerary of cultural and historical activities for travelers on this trip,” she said. “Cuba has been cloaked in mystery for the past half-century, and this trip is a unique opportunity to see how this island nation is today.”

Prices for the “Heart of Cuba” tour start at $3,999 per person. There are a total of 20 spots available for the trip, and reservations are first come, first served.

Details for the tour, as well as a list of other itineraries planned for 2012 and 2013, are available by emailing Holsman Tetreault at jholsman@asu.edu or calling 480-965-2086.

A replay of an educational webinar about the Cuba trip is available by visiting http://bit.ly/PO7cNk.

Traveling with ASU Travel & Tours is a benefit of membership in the ASU Alumni Association. Membership with the association is available by visiting http://alumni.asu.edu/membership.

In memory: ASU alum, Ariz. historian Dean Smith

July 17, 2012

Prolific writer, historian, storyteller and ASU alumnus Dean Smith, who wrote "The Sun Devils: Eight Decades of Arizona State Football" (1979), among many other titles, died July 7 at Banner Desert Medical Center. He was 89.

"Arizona and especially Tempe have lost a fine writer, historian and storyteller – Dean Smith, the prolific author of more than 20 books, many of them specialized histories of our state," wrote Lawn Griffiths in a July 12 special feature that appeared in the East Valley Tribune. Download Full Image

Smith was an Arizonan for more than seven decades, a frequent contributor to Arizona Highways magazine, and a book editor for the University of Arizona Press. He explored his state's lesser-known places and history in one of the last books he ever wrote: "Arizona Nuggets." The book is a popular title around the state, available on Amazon.com, and has been updated this year with a new Centennial Edition.

"Many of the thousands of copies of 'Arizona Nuggets' were distributed to Arizona schools, and Dean gave the Kiwanis Club of Friendship Village rights to sell 'Arizona Nuggets' as a fundraiser," writes Griffiths.

A Kansas native raised in Glendale, Smith attended Arizona State University when the institution was known by a different name: Arizona State College. He received his bachelor's degree in 1947 and later returned to earn an MBA in 1971.

After serving as a sports writer for the Glendale News and the Mesa Tribune, he worked as the sports information director for ASU from 1950 to 1952. Smith covered Sun Devil Athletics as a sports writer for the Arizona Republic from 1952 to 1959, when he rejoined his alma mater, becoming director of publications.

"He retired from ASU in 1984, then turned to independently writing and producing his long string of Arizona books," writes Griffiths. His 22 books include:

• "Tempe: Arizona Crossroads"

• "The Goldwaters of Arizona"

• "Arizona Pathways"

• "The Meteor Crater Story"

• "Arizona Goes to War"

• "Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps"

• "Barry Goldwater: The Biography of a Conservative"

• "Brothers Five" – a history of the Babbitts of Arizona

A memorial service for Smith is scheduled for 10 a.m., July 28, at Skirm Auditorium at Friendship Village, located at 2625 E. Southern Ave., in Tempe.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

When faced with goodbye, write a letter

July 17, 2012

ASU alum, Valley writer seeks 'goodbye letters'

"One of these days, I'm gonna sit down and write a long letter, to all the good friends I've known." – Neil Young postmark Download Full Image

After the recent passing of her father, ASU alumnus Susan Geer, a Valley resident and writer, sat down and wrote a letter to her father – a "goodbye letter."

Geer said she found the experience to be so comforting that she felt inspired to begin collecting other goodbye letters from people who also have struggled with the loss of a parent, a child, a friend.  

“My idea is to collect and publish these letters that can heal and enrich those who are faced with saying goodbye, whether that is by death, leaving for the military, going to college or moving out," says Geer. "All letters of goodbye will be considered."

Geer holds a bachelor's degree in advertising from ASU, and her late father, Robert Huff, served as executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents from 1979 to 1986. He later became an ASU professor emeritus, teaching higher education management.

"I believe people are faced with the question of what do you say, how do you act when you may be seeing your loved one for the last time or for a long time," Geer says. "So, for me, I felt it was a positive, comforting and uplifting experience to get all my thoughts on to paper and give my father this letter."

Sincerity is the only rule for crafting a goodbye letter, says Geer. She suggests thinking about the person to whom you are writing and then writing about a specific incident with that person. Goodbye letters can be long or short, and they don't have to say everything. Finally, Geer says to give it to your loved one. If you can’t give it in person, then mail it, email it, have it delivered, or read it over the telephone. Be sensitive to the recipient's emotions and needs, Geer warns.

For those interested in sending a goodbye letter for publication consideration, you can email your letters to letters@lastgoodbyeletters.com or mail them to 1155 S. Power Rd., Suite 114, #65, Mesa, Ariz., 85206. Visit lastgoodbyeletters.com for more information.

“I can’t wait for the letters to come in," Geer says. "I think I will end up seeing a pattern, or a logical way to group the letters so I can formulate chapters based on subject matter. I hope the finished project will inspire others to write down their thoughts and feelings, and help them get through this difficult process.”

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library