A special tribute will be paid today (Thursday morning 19 July 2012) when student Melanie Crouch, who died before she could complete her studies at Sussex, is awarded a posthumous Bachelor of Science degree.
Melanie, from Reigate, a popular and active member of her year, came to university later in life, following a successful career as a financial advisor.
She embraced student life with great energy, made many new friends and particularly enjoyed her year out at Austin University in Texas, as part of her degree programme.
It was during her time in Texas that Melanie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she spent most of 2011 undergoing treatment. By the beginning of 2012 she returned to University and was looking forward to completing her studies when the cancer returned. Melanie passed away, aged 50, on 14 February 2012.
Psychology tutor Ellena Adams paid tribute to Melanie, saying: “I was lucky enough to be Melanie’s Associate Tutor for some of her seminars during her first years at Sussex. I remember a bright, smiley person who was always more than prepared for every seminar discussion. Melanie was a gentle, popular lady, a delight to teach and very much missed.”
Fellow researcher and Sussex tutor Sanjeedah Choudhury was a close friend of Melanie's during her time at Sussex. She says: "We bonded instantly over our mutual love of research methods! She was a lovely, charming, generous person, who made time for anyone who needed her. Many a time I saw her stop working on her assignments and help others with their academic and personal problems. She was a fun-loving person, who brought a smile to those around her. Her wit, humour, kindness, and wisdom will be deeply missed, and I was extremely lucky to have had her as a friend."
Melanie’s mother Sylvia Davis says: “Like everything else she did in life, Melanie took it all in her stride, with a smile on her face, worrying more about how everyone else was feeling than about herself. It is only since her death that I have come to realise how many lives she touched, how many friends she had and how many people loved her.”
Melanie's mother and extended family will be attend the ceremony and her brother Mark will accept the award on behalf of the family.