Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Author shares lessons, stories

By Whitney Harp
Staff Writer

Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author of the “The Last Lecture,” delivered a presentation of his journalistic career Feb. 1 at Brookhaven College. Approximately 475 students, staff and faculty attended the event.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Zaslow died Feb. 11 after he lost control of his car and was struck by a truck on the snowy roads of northern Michigan. Zaslow was 53.

“The Last Lecture” was selected by Brookhaven’s Open Book Committee for use in more than 130 classes. The book chronicles the life lessons of Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who died in 2008.

After being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, Pausch prepared to give a last lecture that dealt with his own life lessons.

Zaslow described Pausch as a dedicated family man who, even through his greatest struggles, always maintained optimism.
Zaslow’s presentation featured videos of Pausch being interviewed.

“My family is being pushed off a cliff. I can either be crying or I can be busy making nets to catch them,” Pausch said in one of the videos.

Zaslow, who worked as a “Matters of the Heart” columnist for The Wall Street Journal for 14 years, shared an in-depth look into what motivates him to tell the stories of others.

Zaslow said everyday matters of the heart, such as interacting with his daughters, provided him the material to keep his audience reading his column for more than a decade.

Zaslow also co-authored the personal memoirs of Chesley Sullenberger, the airline pilot who successfully landed an airplane in the Hudson River, and Gabrielle Giffords, former U.S. House Representative of Arizona.

Student Elizabeth Hopkins said she was moved to tears. “The lecture was amazing,” she said. “I am currently in school for diagnostic radiology, which is how they diagnose cancer. It meant a lot to me.”

Following the lecture, Zaslow sat at a table in the lobby of the Performance Hall, where he met with students and signed copies of “The Last Lecture.”

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