Virginia Tech undergraduate students in the philosophy department were informed today of the death of a faculty member.
An e-mail sent to students said Lauren Fleming, a visiting assistant professor, died as “a result of injuries sustained in a December car accident.”
Fleming taught a philosophy of religion class, as well as a graduate-level metaethics class last semester, which was her first semester at Tech.
First-year masters’ student Joey Miller and second-year masters’ student Beth Hupfer were in Fleming’s Metaethics class. Both remembered Fleming as a young woman who was full of life and committed to her subject.
“She always had people laughing and her personality made it easy to like her,” Miller said.
Hupfer described Fleming as hilarious.
“She was really good about making people feel comfortable (and) making everything interesting,” Hupfer said.
Hupfer said one of her favorite memories of Fleming was her tendency to bring up her cat in class.
“Everything related back to her cat,” Hupfer said.
Hupfer said Fleming took the morals she taught to heart by practicing vegetarianism and making “ethical life choices.”
“She took philosophy as like it was her whole person,” Hupfer said.
Miller said Fleming’s office door was always open.
“She was very approachable and very welcoming and friendly,” he said. “I was comfortable talking to her.”
Although Miller and Hupfer were informed about Fleming’s death about two weeks ago in an e-mail sent to graduate students and faculty from the philosophy department, undergraduate students were not made aware of her death until the e-mail sent late Thursday afternoon.
Hupfer said the December car accident that put Fleming in the hospital happened when Fleming’s car hit black ice while she was driving to Michigan over winter break.
“I don’t think we knew how serious (the accident) was,” Hupfer said.
She sent Fleming a care package. The department informed students over winter break that Fleming would not return to teach classes semester, Hupfer said.
Miller said a memorial service is planned for March 21 at noon in the War Memorial Chapel. Further details about that service are not yet available.