Elie Wiesel was an inspiration to anyone who heard his stories or had the pleasure of meeting him. I will remember the first time I met him, and how his face broke into a beautiful smile and made me forget all the anxiety and intimidation I had been feeling seconds before. It is hard to describe the presence of someone who is so inspiringly wise yet also humble and willing to ask questions himself. His true passion for learning, his intense focus on friendships and his willingness to ask hard questions are all aspects of his character I will carry with me. I will always remember him to be one of the greatest storytellers I have ever heard; being taught stories from a young age, he was formed by them, and continued to share them, and saw the beauty and relevance they brought to the human experience. I am so honored to have been one of his students, and to have had the opportunity to learn, discuss and even simply talk with such a kindhearted man.
—Amy Varenkamp ’17