Angela Petty, a pre-veterinary science major, died Dec. 21 after complications due to asthma.
She was initiated into the Alpha Chi Omega sorority last semester and, though her sisters knew her only for a short while, they say she left a lasting impression.
Petty stood out in a group of over 70 sorority members, said Alpha Chi Omega President, Daniella Fusari, during the memorial service.
“She was a woman of character,” said Fusari. “And from the moment I met her I knew she would fit right in.”
Fusari said Petty epitomized the ideal Alpha Chi Omega.“Real, strong, women: that is the motto that Alpha Chi Omega women pride themselves on,” said Fusari. “Angela Petty was a sister of our sorority for much too short a period of time, but for those few months she became and exemplified the idea behind our motto.”
Fusari said that while some lose themselves when they join organizations, Petty remained true to herself.“She never pretended to be something she wasn’t.” Fusari said.
“She loved Alpha Chi Omega. Angela loved her sisters,” wrote Daniele Pepe before the memorial. “She felt like she had a home away from home at school when she was surrounded by her sisters.”
Sorority members wrote that Petty was enthusiastic about attending Greek life events.
“She was always super excited to attend events with the older sisters and made an effort to get to know her pledge class,” wrote Katherine Ashley. “I can still remember seeing her walking into our ceremony and how excited she looked to become a sister of Alpha Chi Omega.”
Elyse Perez, who met Petty during fall recruitment, said Petty loved being around people and having fun.“As soon as I met her, I thought, ‘wow, tiny person, huge personality.’”
In addition to her involvement in her sorority, Petty was working hard to become a veterinarian.
“She loved animals and was willing to work hard to follow her dream,” wrote Brittany Paluch, Petty’s sorority Big Sister. “Her love of animals was apparent to everyone who knew her.”
Paluch also said Petty loved and talked often about her family and friends. She also had a passion for country music and photography.
Austin Daniels, another friend of Petty’s, was sad that more people at UT had not gotten to know her because of her short career here.
“Besides being an intense scrapbook-er, listener to corny rap music, and fan of such girlie movies as Twilight, Angela was the complete southern girl. Proud of her heritage,” wrote Daniels.
Daniels added that he always thought of Petty as a strong and selfless person.
“Even during her finals months I would recall her severely coughing, but never once heard a complaint from her,” he wrote. “I know that I will always miss her.”
As people filed into the memorial, a picture montage of Petty played on screen above the stage.
Bob Ruday, Dean of Students, gave the welcome speech to those in attendance.“We are indeed reminded about how precious life is,” he said. “Let us also rejoice in her life. A life that touched us all, directly or indirectly.”
UT Alpha Chi Omega Chapter Adviser, Jennifer Garcia, urged students at the memorial to remember Angela by raising money and bringing awareness to asthma issues.
“Every day you can make a difference in the things that you do,” Garcia said. “As we look forward, I ask that each of you put your energy into helping out the cause, the cause that Angela would have wanted you to [pursue]. Look to help with asthma sufferers around the country and around the world.”
Concluding the memorial was a musical tribute sung by Lauren Andersson and Ashley Dignam, as well as a closing poem read by Ruday.
Ruday also thanked the Petty family for sharing her with the university.
“We are indeed richer for that experience,” he said. “Angela will continue to be remembered by our university family.”