Rachel Maria Asrelsky was an anthropology student at Grinnell College, Iowa, returning to her home in New York, New York, after completing a successful term in Florence, Italy, studying Italian art, language, and history. More than anthropology or Italian, Rachel was an ardent student and lover of life.
Described as a whirlwind by teachers, friends, and family, Rachel was active in a variety of social and political issues. Her activity was intense, enthusiastic, and breathtaking—all tempered by an irrepressible sense of humor and quick affection. A friend said of her, "Rachel lived life to the hilt. The depth of the pain we are feeling reflects the joy and love she brought to us all. Losing her is awful, but not having known her would have been far worse."
The Rachel Asrelsky Memorial Award was established in her memory at Grinnell College.