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Talented UA student killed

Andria Ligas
By Rebekah Kleinman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday January 15, 2003

Every day, Andria Ligas found something new she wanted to accomplish in her lifetime. When she was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Dec. 22, she had already "conquered many of those mountains," said her mother, Carol Hofford.

Ligas, a linguistics senior and Flinn scholar, was riding her bike near North Euclid Avenue and East Elm Street when she was killed.

Many of Ligas' friends, family and mentors remember her as "the type of person who could do anything."

Andria didn't need sleep; she preferred to embrace every hour of every day to accomplish old goals and set new ones, said close friend Michelle Hertzfeld, an international studies junior.

"There was too much she wanted to do. She was like, ÎI could sleep or I could learn.' Whatever she wanted to do she did, and won," Hertzfeld said.

As a child, she was very quiet, but her zest for life was always apparent, Hofford said.

"She was always very strong and interested in mental activities."
open quote marks
She didn't want to miss anything.

- James Todd
Yuma Hall faculty fellow

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By the time Ligas began her freshman year at UA, she had abandoned her shyness for a more social lifestyle.

"She was very involved," said James Todd, faculty fellow at Yuma Hall where Ligas lived and worked the front desk. "She didn't sleep; she was on the go constantly. She didn't want to miss anything."

Ligas sought out many areas of study at UA. She began her career as an architecture major before she turned to linguistics. But she didn't only take classes required by her major; she often took other courses just for the love of learning.

"She would try anything. She even began taking Turkish just because it interested her," Hertzfeld said.

Ligas also served as the public relations contact for the Honors Student Council.

In addition to seemingly full class and extracurricular schedules, Ligas worked three jobs, created paintings, sculptures and drawings, and competed athletically.

She won numerous awards as a member of the TriCats triathlon team, although she began running only three years ago.

"She wanted to do cross country as a senior in high school (at Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley); the team needed one more person. They told her she didn't even have to go to practice as long as she went to the meets," Hofford said.

After that, Ligas began running and winning Road Racer meets in Phoenix.

"She would come to my room at midnight and want to go running," Hertzfeld said. "I'd ride my bike and she'd run beside me and we'd just talk. It was a lot of fun."

Ligas was also an avid rock climber and co-president of the UA Climbing Club.

With all that she was involved in, she still maintained a 4.0 GPA.

"She had an extraordinary sense of balance. Andria had diversified social and academic interests, and she brought depth to all of them," Young said.

More than 300 people representing all facets of Ligas' life came together to honor her at her funeral and unite their different interests for one solid purpose.

"The range of her interests and people and groups with whom she communicated were brought together," Young said. "We all had a grip of a piece of who Andria was. We will miss her terribly."

A scholarship has been set up in memory of Ligas. All donations can be sent to the Andria Ligas Memorial Scholarship Fund, PO Box 44372, Phoenix, AZ 85064, or to any Compass Bank.

Jerrett Earl Hindman, the man driving the van that killed Ligas, turned himself into police on Dec. 23 and was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal collision. He is being held at Pima County Jail awaiting a Superior Court trial.


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