Friends and family of Laura Treanor said she was a positive, outgoing person, who was deeply committed to her sorority, writing and Catholic faith.
Treanor was known for her devotion to her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, along with the Newman Center and The Hatchet, where she served as contributing life editor. A second-year student who recently applied to be an American Studies major, Treanor came to GW in the fall of 2007 from Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
“She walked on [GW’s] campus and said, ‘Mom, this is where I want to go,'” said her mother, Ann-Marie Treanor. “She knew that was where she wanted to go. She wanted the city life.”
Friends described Laura Treanor as “a genuinely nice person” who always had a kind word for a friend in need.
“Her smile could light up a room and she commanded attention wherever she went,” sorority sister Hillary Richards, a senior, said. “People loved to be around her and you can see that just by the sheer numbers of people who have been affected by her passing.”
Her roommate, Jackie Friedberger, said, “Laura was an amazing friend and an amazing roommate. And everyone who knew her would describe her as really fun and outgoing and full of spirit and life.”
Phil Bianchi, a junior, said Treanor was the rare kind of person who left a lasting impression on everyone she met.
“The people who knew her were lucky,” he said. “The people who never met her really missed out on someone special.”
Friends recalled last Christmas when Treanor and her roommate Brittany Verga baked more than 600 cookies for their friends, classmates, professors and anyone else they could find.
“She searched the entire library until she found me and gave me cookies,” recalled Zuha Moin, Treanor’s freshman year roommate.
Friedberger, along with fellow senior Amanda Lintelman, had never met Treanor when she moved into their Ivory Tower quad at the start of the school year. But they quickly became close friends, in large part because of Treanor’s generosity and positive attitude.
“She would have done anything for us,” Lintelman said.
The night before she died, Treanor taped signs saying “Amanda interview. Be quiet” to the quad’s front door in deference to Lintelman’s job interviews scheduled for early Friday morning. Lintelman and Friedberger agreed that it was just one of many ways Treanor showed her devotion to her roommates. She had also planned a dinner for her roommates for Friday night.
Treanor thrived during her three semesters in Foggy Bottom. A member of Phi Sigma Sigma said that Treanor was “an integral member” of the sorority and a natural leader.
A diligent student and talented writer, Treanor’s journalism skills were noticed by Hatchet editors who hired her as an editor after just one semester at the paper. Moin said Treanor took great pride in her work in journalism and would stay up late into the night working on articles.
“Her passion was always writing,” Friedberger said.
Treanor was also an observant Catholic who became a lector at the Newman Center in 2008, helping out at weekly services.
“Attending church every Sunday was her first priority,” Moin said.
Despite her packed schedule, Treanor always managed to find time for those close to her.
“She loved her friends and you always felt special when you saw her because she deeply cared about every person in her life,” Richards said. “We always had such a good time with her and she was always the life of whatever event we were at.”
While at Yorktown Heights High School, Treanor was known for her achievements on the cross-country team and Model United Nations.
“When I had trouble breathing while running in a race she would always run at my pace and encourage me to keep going,” one friend wrote on the Facebook group commemorating Treanor.
Although her daughter loved both politics and journalism, Ann-Marie Treanor said Laura had also talked about becoming a lawyer in the future.
While her presence will be sorely missed, Richards said that Treanor’s impact will continue to live on.
“I know we all will never forget her smile or her laugh,” she said. “She has changed us for the better.”