On November 17, 2019, we lost our beautiful friend and classmate, Anna Furgiuele Whitted, BA ’98, EdM ‘00.
Anna, who always had a smile on her face, had an impact on the lives of everyone with whom she came in contact in her 43 years. She was the type of friend you could always count on in tough times and the biggest cheerleader for those she loved, especially her husband, Michael, and three sons, Michael, Johnathan and Christopher.
This past spring, members of our class had a check-in call on Zoom and it didn’t take long for us to realize how different the call felt because Anna wasn’t with us. Acknowledging this was our 20th-reunion year, we started to discuss wanting to do something in memory of our friend.
As we thought back to our days in graduate school at UB, and shared laughs about the good times we had, memories kept emerging about the fun we had had traveling together to various national conferences and meetings. These trips not only allowed us to meet and network with other higher-education professionals, but our class grew closer as a group -- and for that we will always be grateful that we had those opportunities together.
Since Anna loved to travel and our memories of traveling with her and as a class brought smiles to our faces, we decided to establish an award in Anna’s name to support students in the higher education/student affairs program in the Graduate School of Education at UB with their expenses related to participation in professional-development conferences and meetings. Students that have the financial means to attend conferences and meetings outside of Western New York have an advantage not available to students that cannot afford to attend. Attendance at such conferences can have a major impact on students’ lives and their career paths. It was because Anna was able to interview at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) conference that she was able to secure a job after graduate school in Chicago, where she eventually met her husband and called home for 19 years.
Our goal is to raise $50,000 so that Anna’s award can support multiple students each year, allowing her legacy of impacting the lives of others to live on in perpetuity. Please join us in supporting this effort and sharing this campaign on social media and with others that would be interested. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of several students, while also remembering our dear friend.