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Kindness for Katie

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chatham chapter.

An article by Sara Weinstein

What do you do after the untimely death of a fellow student?

Katie Walters was a friend to many.  She was 20 years old, and a woman of convictions. She was both serious and spontaneous. She liked to have fun.  No one could forget her beautiful smile.  As one friend commented, “When you were with her, she had an incredible ability to make you feel like you were the most important person in the world.”

What do you do when a friend passes away?

“To everything there is a season

A time to live, a time to die…”

To everything there is a purpose under Heaven.”

We may never know the purpose of her death.  But we can learn from the purpose of her life.  Katie noticed others.  Everyone agrees that Katie was very kind.  As Esther L. Barazzone, the President of Chatham University, said at the recent Memorial Service for Katie,  “In Katie’s memory, stop and do an act of kindness for someone.  It may be the hardest thing to do.  It may also be the most important thing to do!”

Chabad on Chatham has chosen to do two special programs in Katie’s memory for Chatham students. 


“Slips of Kindness” was a simple, but far-reaching idea to empower more people to do acts of kindness on campus.  On Tuesday, April 16, members of Chabad on Chatham gave out bags including a chocolate chip cookie and a slip of kindness.  These slips of paper each suggested a single act of kindness to do that day.  Examples included:

  • Call a friend to say hi today.
  • Smile at someone walking past you to brighten his/her day.
  • Thank a cashier who you encounter today.
  • Take time to listen to someone and be empathetic to their feelings.
  • Go out of your way to do something nice for someone.
  • Take time to notice a friend.
  • Give charity to your favorite cause.

Students were really happy with the opportunity to be a part of this simple but meaningful activity.

The second program planned in Katie’s memory will take place on May 1st in the Mellon Living Room.  Called, An Evening with Leah Herman: A Jewish Feminist Perspective,” this program will bring together friends of Katie’s and hopefully, students from all backgrounds for an uplifting and inspiring perspective of womanhood.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.  Refreshments will be served.

“As painful as Katie’s loss is,” Chabad Student President, Leiba Estrin, asserts, “Chabad on Chatham will strive to do more acts of kindness for Katie.”   Pass it along.  It may be the hardest thing to do, but it may be the most important thing you CAN do!



  Mara Flanagan is entering her seventh semester as a Chapter Advisor. After founding the Chatham University Her Campus chapter in November 2011, she served as Campus Correspondent until graduation in 2015. Mara works as a freelance social media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She interned in incident command software publicity at ADASHI Systems, gamification at Evive Station, iQ Kids Radio in WQED’s Education Department, PR at Markowitz Communications, writing at WQED-FM, and marketing and product development at Bossa Nova Robotics. She loves jazz, filmmaking and circus arts.