I started at Casady in January of our freshman year, and she recognized me from my tour (where she was my tour guide) a few months before. She handed me a business card she had made with her landline phone number on it, and I thought that was the greatest thing. I immediately wanted to be her friend.

Laura was always up for anything and so much fun to be around. Our senior year of high school, she spontaneously joined me on a road trip to Mississippi to go to my cousin’s wedding. We stopped at Graceland and Jim Henson’s birthplace on the way and spent most of the trip memorizing the US presidents in order of their terms. Always the teacher, Laura came up with a song to the tunes on our Nokia cell phones to help us memorize them. I still know this song today. Laura taught me so much and always did it with patience and fun. She was so smart, and most mornings before classes, I would bring her a math problem I was having trouble with, and she could always solve and explain it to me. She also taught me to drive a stick shift (though I haven’t used that skill as much as the President song!).