Beloved biology lecturer dies

Aver Boulware, Campus Carrier News Editor

Avery Boulware | CAMPUS CARRIER

Students made a small memorial on the door of the classroom where Orloff taught in MacAllister Hall.

Biology lecturer Glenda Orloff passed away Feb. 15 at age 69 after battling an extended illness. Orloff taught at Berry for 22 years, developing two Human Anatomy and Physiology courses from scratch. She also coordinated the dual-degree nursing major between Berry and Emory.

Renee Carleton, associate biology professor, was a close friend of Orloff. She said that even though Orloff’s classes seemed difficult to many students, they are valuable for many different careers in biology and medicine.

“No doubt, she was tough,” Carleton said. “She expected a lot. But she thought it was important that anyone working with the human body really know their stuff and thoroughly understand how complex the body is.”

Because of her illness, Orloff took a break this semester, but planned to return to Berry as soon as she was well.

“She had been really sick for a long time,” senior Ashlyn Foskey said. “She always had her phone out in class to see if she had been chosen to receive a kidney transplant. If she even got the least bit sick, it would take her out for about a month. But even then, she was always determined to come back and teach.”

Orloff used humor to engage students, dressing up as a skeleton for Halloween and drawing veins and arteries on her arms to illustrate concepts to her classes. 

“She would tell jokes, sometimes about her own health problems and sometimes about her two ex-husbands, to help people better understand what was going on in their own bodies,” Carleton said. “She had such great enthusiasm for everything in spite of some very difficult health challenges.”

Carleton spoke at Orloff’s funeral, which was held at First United Methodist Church in Rome on Feb. 18.

“She would walk into a room and the room would just light up,” Carleton said. “She was my best friend here. I’m going to miss her a lot.”

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