Tribute from a Director to a Director

On November 6, 2012, the Academic Advising and Career Center lost a mentor, a friend, a colleague, and a pioneer. Lora Beckwith, former Director of the Academic Advising Center, was an ardent supporter of student success. She died at University of Michigan Hospital after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. Lora was a dedicated, loyal, and unwavering advocate for our students. She served the Advising Center with passion, knowledge, and commitment for so, so many years.

I had the absolute pleasure and honor of working with Lora when I was a young professional in the Registrar’s Office. I always admired her. I always listened to her. I learned a lot from her. I also remember fondly Lora’s son Matt. Lora’s genuineness lives on with Matt. A stellar student of the University. A stellar Department of Public Safety employee. By the time I moved into the Advising Center as an Academic Advisor, Lora had already moved to the Education Department. She offered me advice and encouragement. She always led by example and was so graceful. We continued to work closely together in both of our new roles. She helped me. A lot. She was a true leader and best.

Perhaps, as I ponder, it is ironic that several years after my move into the Center I would become its Director. I carry all that I learned from great leaders like Lora with me. I will never, ever forget her. She paved the way for the Center to become great. To stay great. I have, over the years, come across many of Lora’s materials when she was the Director. Sometimes, I pull them out to refocus. So much of what she was responsible for creating remains alive today in the Center. Great programs. Excellent ideas. The best and most profound legacy of Lora’s Directorship in the Center remains a passion for students. All students. She never apologized for that passion. She fearlessly marched in the direction of what was good for students. She was respected. She is respected.

And so, from one Director to another, I offer my allegiance to what Lora stood for. I will pull your materials out Lora. I will remember. I will be so many of those things that you taught us to be.

From the entire staff of the now Academic Advising and Career Center, we honor the original Advising Center leader with our thoughts and our unyielding commitment to student success.

Aimi Moss
Academic Advising and Career Center
New Student Programs (Orientation)
Tutorial Services