In Memoriam: Eliza Kinsey ‘04

Eliza Chamberlain Kinsey, a Scripps junior from Southport, Maine, died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism on Friday, February 21, after being stricken in Browning Hall. A memorial service was held on campus on February 27. The following eulogy was written by her closest friends and classmates: Meghan Powers, Brigitte Callahan, Sarah Springer, Amanda Brewster, and Lisa Schechtman. Her family is establishing the Eliza Kinsey Memorial Fund at Scripps.

Eliza almost didn’t come to Scripps. When she graduated in the spring of 1999, she was all set to go to Stonehill College in Massachusetts. However, after a June orientation she quickly informed her mom that she was not going to that school. She always told us how people in Boothbay teased her that she was the first in her class to drop out of college. So she took a year off, traveled the world and then settled on Scripps College – so far away from her small town in Maine. For all her friends here at Scripps, it’s obvious why she couldn’t go to Stonehill – because then we couldn’t have all been together. Her parents understood her need to be in California, but every chance Mrs. Kinsey had she’d tell Eliza what a good school Colby is – though she knew Eliza was happy here.

Neither Eliza nor any of her friends stayed at Scripps for a great love of the school, or the weather, or to be at a women’s college. It has always been about each other. We are each other’s first, and biggest, priority. This was supposed to be the best semester. After a fabulous freshman year, three of our friends transferred. Last semester, most of us were abroad, or at horme – there was no one left on campus. But this semester, the abroad girls returned, one of the transfers came back, and we were all going to be together – because that’s what we always wanted.

Eliza was an amazing person. She was the most generous person ever-always giving, always stress-free. Her friends were her passion, and she was the most passionate person any of us had ever met. She would only see the beautiful in all of us. She was always the first to laugh and the last to stop. We’d tell her that the joke was funny 20 minutes ago, but she didn’t care, and she’d continue to laugh. She was so selfless, giving us anything we needed and never asking for anything in return. Her days were filled with sleeping late (through her classes), meeting us for lunch at noon in the dining room “right and right,” procrastinating by Muddhole trips, chick flicks, playing Spider Solitaire, talking to Will on IM for hours, taking walks with Anna, talking all of us into going to the gym, hanging out at Mudd-pretty much anything but that paper that was due the next morning.

We always said we’d all graduate together, but we knew it was going to be a fight to get Eliza to finish her general requirements and do her thesis more than a day before it was due. She never seemed to be worried, though. And, we all knew in the end that she would get it done, and she would do it well.

We always teased her about having an addictive personality. Freshman year she found a pair of red sweatpants that she just loved, and she wore them nearly everyday. Sophomore year she discovered that sleeping was a much better alternative to pulling all-nighters and she also discovered Spider Solitaire on her computer that would take up hours and hours of her time and would be the answer to numerous questioning IM’s, “Whatcha doin’?” Junior year in Strasbourg she ate feta kebabs from the same kebab stand at least once a day. She would eat French fries and pizza for lunch nearly everyday always with the same exclamation, “I need to eat better!” She knew what she liked, and luckily that included us.

There are so many memories that we will always cherish. We said that we would all be friends forever, and we will. We will always remember the time she decided to get her tongue pierced on the walk home from Wal-Mart, spring break in Cancun sophomore year, going to the Village Grill on weekend nights, watching Sunday night movies, late night trips to AM/PM, us saying “eww-it smells” and her saying “does it really!?” We will also never forget Wednesday and Thursday TV nights, studying (or not) ar Starbucks, driving to In-N-Out listening to Whitney Houston, and just about every party at West. Eliza was always helping her friends. She made sure to nudge Brigitte as she nodded off in Professor Haskell’s French class so he wouldn’t catch her. When Jane told Eliza that she refused to fold her laundly, Eliza did it for her because she couldn’t stand anyone’s clothes being wrinkly. She helped Amanda with her German homework, even though Eliza was rusty on her grammar too. When Meghan got her tattoo she was right there to hold her hand.

Eliza always hated having her picture taken, but if you look at her pictures, you can see that she has the most beautiful smile. We will love her forever and she’ll be with us always, our little Elizabug.