UF Law Remembers Catherine Barclift

Published: November 12th, 2007

Category: Feature, News

UF Law Remembers Catherine Barclift

Catherine BarcliftCatherine Barclift (pictured left) will be remembered not just for her intellect, but for her off-the-chart energetic personality.

“Her smile was absolutely dazzling,” Legal Skills Professor Tracy Rambo said. “When she smiled, you couldn’t quite tell what she was thinking, but you knew it was something extraordinary, and just a bit mischievous. She was delightful—sassy and spunky, in the very best of ways. Her death touched everyone—those who knew her well, and those who had just met her. She will be missed, and she will not be forgotten.”

A Remembrance Service will be held at the Levin College of Law on Thursday, Nov. 15, 5-6 p.m., in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom (HOL 180). Several persons will speak about Catherine’s special qualities and contributions. Members of Catherine’s family also plan to attend and participate in the Remembrance Service. JMBA will be handing out pink and blue ribbons in honor of Catherine. Catherine’s parents indicated that her favorite colors were pink and blue. The law school community is asked to plan to wear the ribbons this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 13-15).

Barclift, a first-year law student from Fort Myers, died Nov. 6, one day after being hit by an SUV while jogging at the intersection of SW 34th Street and Radio Road.

Third-year UF Law student Jill Levy, who was Barclift’s Ambassador when she arrived in August, said she was well-loved by every person who knew her. “She was always the first person to smile when you entered a room and always made people laugh,” Levy said. “From what I know, Catherine loved being in law school here, mostly because of the people she’d met, and would have been a wonderful lawyer.”

Barclift, 22, received her undergraduate degree at Florida State University. At FSU, according to a story published in theTallahassee Democrat, Barclift majored in international affairs and was a member of Gamma Phi Beta. “I’m still kind of in shock right now,” Kate McCoy, a sorority sister and senior biology and physics major at FSU, told the Tallassee Democrat. McCoy created a Facebook group to pray for and remember Barclift.

McCoy described Barclift as a “social butterfly” who was also intelligent. Barclift was in the Pre-Law Society and graduated with honors. She was going to make a great lawyer,” McCoy told the paper.

The funeral for Barclift will be Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers (2439 McGregor Boulevard). A bus will be provided to attend the service for anyone who is able to attend. It will leave the law school parking lot at noon. Please be on time so that additional rides can be organized, if needed. The family welcomes as many people at the service as possible; your presence will be appreciated. Food and drink is allowed on the bus. The bus is made possible by donations from all of you through Sections 2 and 3 fundraising and through contributions from the John Marshall Bar Association and the Law College Council.

Barclift’s parents are interested in the experiences her friends at UF Law shared with Catherine. In Catherine’s honor, the law school will prepare a scrapbook containing pictures, stories, poems, and thoughts that will be meaningful for the Barclift family. JMBA will serve as a collection center for tangible objects, printed photos, cards, and memorabilia. The JMBA table will be set up in the courtyard through Thursday, Nov. 15, at noon. The scrapbook will be assembled by a professional scrapbook company and presented to the family. If you prefer to make your submission electronically please e-mail the materials to JMBA.UF@gmail.com.

“This is a terrible tragedy and a tremendous loss,” UF Law Dean Robert Jerry said. “Catherine was an exceptional person with enormous potential who was highly esteemed by her classmates. We ask everyone to keep her family in their thoughts and prayers.”