In early August, Alisa Hardy Orton, a BYU graduate who took my US Women’s History class the fall of 2011, was tragically killed (along with her unborn baby girl), in a head-on collision. Sometimes professors have favorite students, and sometimes those favorite students become friends–friends who inspire you and teach you about all sorts of things. Smart. Curious. Engaged. Compassionate. Alisa loved life and lived it so fully in every meaningful way. I feel blessed to have known her. Her obituary captures something of her spirit. Some of Alisa’s friends and family are planning to celebrate her 28th birthday on August 28th through service, sending notes of gratitude, or performing random acts of kindness. I hope you will join me in celebrating her beautiful life.