Thanks to so many readers of this blog, the Elijah James Blum Memorial Fund achieved its goal of $20,000 and is proud to announce its first winner. Jennifer Lindell received her M.A. from SDSU in 2011 and was poised to enter the PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania before she died on May 23, 2011. Thirty-two years old, Ms. Lindell was an incredible young scholar and a wonderful teacher. Her master's thesis was an exquisite study of Native Americans in the imaginations of Mormons from the 1820s to the 1850s. As a teacher, Ms. Lindell was thoughtful, an expert listener, and extraordinarily diligent.
One of my happiest moments with Elijah was the evening we took Ms. Lindell to pizza to celebrate the package Penn had put together for her. We swapped Anthea Butler stories of admiration. We laughed about how nice Penn's library was versus SDSU's. We planned a time when I would visit the campus to discuss Mormon theologized imaginaries of race. But most of all, we held Elijah, rocked him amid the sweet-bitter smell of just-enough-overcooked cheese, and chatted about how much Elijah loved his teachers. They were teaching him to roll and to grab objects (like his turtle).
Those who know (or know about) Elijah and Jen know how much they are missed and how much they gave to this world. I cannot imagine myself without them, and the thought of Jen teaching my son in the realms beyond is one that brings joy to my heart as it rains tears from my eyes. Thanks to all who made this possible with your donations and listening to our announcements.