I am deeply saddened to announce the death of alumna Amber Long ’11, who was murdered Sunday night during a robbery. Philadelphia University is a close-knit community where strong relationships thrive. It makes the intensity of our grief over Amber’s death even greater, our concern for her family profound. Amber was my intern during her senior year at PhilaU, making this even more personal and more painful for me.
Amber was a talented architect, working in a field she loved in the city she has come to love. She loved connecting beautiful design with practical needs. She told me many times, “I like designing beautiful buildings that people want to use.” She also was a talented artist. I commissioned Amber to paint “The Reichlin House,” an iconic building on our campus. This lovely painting hangs in the dining room of the President’s House, where I live.
Amber Long was part of the student team that won the grand prize for overall excellence in the 2009 Delaware Valley Green Building Council student design competition. Her winning design for a sustainable, co-operative food market was selected from more than 90 entries from an impressive roster of international schools. She further developed her artistic and architectural talents by spending a semester abroad in Rome.
Beyond the sadness and pain I feel over Amber’s senseless death, I am angry — and struggling with how to make my anger useful. I don’t believe the answers are easy or simplistic. But I know our society has to redouble efforts to find solutions to the violence that threatens our freedom, our lives and our humanity.
Funeral services for Amber Long are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, at Durst Funeral Home, 57 Frost Ave., Frostburg, Maryland 21532. Services will be held early afternoon, but the time can be confirmed later in the week by calling Durst Funeral Home at 301-689-8833.
Amber Long’s family has requested that donations be made to the Amber Long ’11 Scholarship at Philadelphia University for architecture students. Donations can be made online at http://www.PhilaU.edu/giving or sent to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 4201 Henry Ave., Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA 19144.
As a campus, we mourn the loss of Amber Long, and our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.