by Brandon Smaglo, Class of 2002
I came to know Megan Perry ’02 during freshmen year at Vassar. We were very different people; had we not been assigned to the same student fellow group, I doubt that we ever would have came to know each other well. In fact, when we were no longer in close proximity housing-wise, we quickly grew apart, so that by senior year, I doubt if we spoke more than a handful of times.
Megan was impulsive and energetic, and threw herself passionately into everything and everyone she encountered. Much to my chagrin, this included a determined effort to expose me to a broader range of experiences. In retrospect, some of these are some of the funniest of my time at Vassar. One time, Megan collected a group of friends to break into my dorm room while I was out. I returned to find that it had been decorated with a wide assortment of pornography. She also dragged me to any number of Philaletheis productions, TH parties, and the Homo-Hop, none I which I would have dreamed of attending of my own volition, and all of which I am deeply grateful for having gone to in retrospect.
After Vassar, Megan brought her passion for life in all that she did. When Hurricane Katrina struck, no one who knew Megan was surprised that she set out to help in whatever way she could. Literally, Megan got a group together in a school bus (which was, incidentally, fueled by vegetable oil), and set out for Louisiana. Sadly, there was a traffic accident in Louisiana, and Megan was killed.
Although I knew her briefly, Megan Perry left a lasting impression on me, as I am sure she did with everyone she encountered. I suspect she accomplished more in her short life than many people will in thrice the time. The great tragedy of her young death is in the people she will not have the opportunity to encounter, to help, to touch. I am grateful that I was fortunate enough to have known her, and I am sure that she is on the list of fond Vassar memories of everyone who knew her at the college.