Becky Burbach Remembered

Becky BurbachOn Tuesday, December 23, 2014, the Curry School lost a dear friend: Rebecca Jean Kennedy Burbach.

Becky spent her career at the Curry School of Education, from 1975 until 2008, working as the executive assistant for five deans and serving countless faculty and students along the way, according to her obituary.

Jim Cooper, a former Curry School dean, shares the following tribute of Becky with the Curry Community. Please feel free to share your memories of Becky in the Comments section.

I have so many great memories of Becky Burbach, and feel so fortunate to have known her.

Becky was the bedrock of the Curry School, having devoted her whole career to serving the needs of our students, faculty, alumni, and many other constituencies. Deans came and went, but she was the constant presence and voice of experience in the dean’s office.  With her lightening quick brain and her incomparable connections around the University, she was the consummate problem solver. She always knew who to call to get around minor obstacles that prevented people from accomplishing what needed to be done. Becky anticipated problems and issues, dealing with them before they escalated. She set the gold standard for administrative assistance, and I can’t imagine a more valuable colleague than Dean Becky.

We all remember well Becky’s great equanimity and were often beneficiaries of her remarkable talents as a harmonizer. Becky was always ready to help people who needed her, doing so in a cheerful way. She always had a bright smile on her face and never seemed to complain about anything.

Becky’s sense of humor was tremendous, especially when it came to laughing at some of my lame jokes, such as the one about her favorite shopping stop in northern Virginia. When she told me that she was going shopping at Frugal Fannie’s, I quipped that the store sounded like a discount bordello. I could always count on Becky and Lorraine Cote to laugh at my attempts at humor.

Becky always laughed with people, never at them. Moreover, she was the best at seeing things clearly, moving ahead calmly, keeping the rest of us on even keel, and effectively navigating the complexities of turf and territory in higher education. She was an absolute pro.

Becky loved life and she loved her family. It is heartbreaking that her time with us all has been cut short. Shamim and I are deeply grateful for her life and her friendship. We will feel deeply her absence from our lives and miss her greatly.