A connector of people: To Avi Kurganoff

Judy Mendel

To the UVM community.


Two years ago our sophomore son, Avi Kurganoff, passed away in his dorm room from an unwitnessed fall which cracked his skull.

At that time, the UVM community was so supportive of our family and we wanted to take the time to write you all and let you know you are still in our thoughts and prayers.

Avi led a fuller life in his 20 years than most of us lead in 80. He also constructed such an intricate web of friendships and love.

We were told by an incredible amount of people that Avi was their friend. Everyone on campus seemed to have known him. He was a connector of people. He was a lover of the world.

We hesitate to thank people individually as there are so many who touched Avi to his core and also allowed Avi to touch their core.

But we would like to thank the UVM administration, especially Annie Stevens, who took care of both our familyÕs needs and then also the communityÕs needs when putting together a beautiful memorial service.

John Abbott, faculty advisor and UVM Outdoor Program coordinator, a great mentor and friend to Avi who bent over backwards to allow our family to experience a little of AviÕs world.

The whole social work department, both students and staff and Dewey House students.

What can we sayÉwe know that they would say that Avi helped them grow, but Avi found his voice being with them; everyone associated with the Outing Club, a true home for Avi, and the Catamountain Classic which you honor him with.

WeÕre sure there are people at UVM and in the Burlington community that we have no idea of, but we are thanking everyone.

And of course, we thank all of AviÕs friends for being there as he Òwandered.Ó UVM was the perfect choice of college for Avi.

Avi would have graduated this year (although, maybe not, as he was planning to take time off and find some adventures) and we want to heartfully communicate to everyone to stay in touch with us and visit when you are in or passing through the Chicago area.

ItÕs a comfort for us to hear stories of Avi, meet his friends and follow them on their adventures, imagining Avi there with them.

If you were friends with Avi, please connect with us through his Facebook page.


Sincerely and with love,

Judy Mendel and Jorge Kurganoff