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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting has a close connection to Carnegie Mellon University.

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Joyce Fienberg was the widow of CMU professor Steve Fienberg, and on Monday afternoon, friends and colleagues gathered in Rangos Auditorium to remember her.

The gathering was organized by the student body, a university spokesperson said.

No cameras or media were allowed inside, but one of Joyce’s very close friends, who was with her the day before the mass shooting, is speaking out.


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Joyce, 75, was a fixture at the University of Pittsburgh. She was a research specialist there, but also well-known and loved at CMU.

Her husband was a longtime professor there. In fact, he was the chair of the Department of Statistics until his retirement.

Her friend Mary Lou Lehoczky says Joyce would host parties at her home for 25 years, welcoming educators, students and friends. What she remembers most about her friend is how gracious she was.

“It’s important,” said Lehoczky. “Many people know her, but just the idea that this would happen to someone connected to the university, and I think we all just don’t know what to do. It’s just sad and so hard. Gathering together makes it a little easier, because we all have our own thoughts. Just to show that we all care.”

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The university said they wished to gather privately for the vigil to honor those who were lost, reaffirm our values and being the process of moving forward together.