An Enduring Tribute

The Ithaca College community is a close one. As students, as alumni, as faculty and staff, we all share a connection with one another through our association with this amazing institution. And as much of a lasting impression as Ithaca College has on our lives, each one of us leaves an equally indelible mark on our IC community.

The faces you see below are members of our college community who have died. Here, we take a moment to reflect on their lives. We remember their generosity, their contributions, their intellect and interests. Each story describes the life of a loved one lost, offering us a chance to reconnect with a unique spirit, or make an acquaintance for the very first time.

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Melissa Jane Dopp 85Melissa Jane Dopp 85
August 25, 1963 August 27, 2014

Melissa Dopp passed away August 27, 2014, due to post-surgery complications. Melissa was a 1985 graduate of Ithaca College, receiving her bachelor’s in sociology. She and her partner Pattie ​Bland ​reveled in their many shared interests, travel, friends, and family. They celebrated 16 years together in May 2014. Their love, dreams, and shared life ended too soon.

While a student at IC, Melissa’s lifelong passion with politics began in earnest. Her areas of academic interest included social and political theory of media, documentary and experimental film, and video and feminist film theory and production. After IC, Melissa continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completing her coursework for a graduate degree in educational technology and communications in 1991. Melissa described her college years as a magical, life-shaping time, resulting in many lifelong friends.

In the 1990s, Melissa relocated to Richmond, Virginia. While her last job was as a web specialist with Virginia Commonwealth University, the position that most fed her creative soul was with Pyramid Studios. There she was an award-winning video editor of media projects for major museums, including the Smithsonian, Texas State History Museum, and NCAA Hall of Champions.

She also served as a political communications consultant and strategist for Democrats, progressives, and non-profits. Melissa put her energy into many campaigns and causes, including: the Hanover County Democratic Committee, LGBT Democrats of VA, Toni Radler for VA House of Delegates, and Pattie Bland for Hanover County Board of Supervisors.

Melissa lived her life joyously, passionately, and with authenticity; her light, love, energy, and wonderful laugh will be dearly missed.