Sally Sasz ’21 will be remembered for her kind heart, open and generous spirit, and thoughtful and creative mind. She passed away on Monday, July 6, during a hike in Utah. She was 21 years old.
Sally was a fixture in the UNC arts community. At the University, the art history and English major served as an Arts Ambassador for the UNC Arts Everywhere initiative, where she organized campus-wide events to cultivate the arts across campus. She also worked as an art editor and art board member at the undergraduate literary magazine Cellar Door. And, Sally shared her passion for music as a DJ for WXYC 89.3 FM. She planned to graduate with a minor in creative nonfiction writing to pursue her love of storytelling through memoirs and other media.
Friends shared this week of how Sally, an avid bicyclist, would always stop a ride to say hello or to walk with them. They said her door was always open for a comforting cup of tea or slice of freshly made banana bread, and they spoke of how Sally spread joy through her positive outlook on life. Scholars described her charisma as “effervescent” and her personality as one that put others at ease through her own innate confidence, integrity, and humility.
In addition to being a supportive classmate and compassionate friend, Sally was a strong advocate for helping those in need and was also an environmental activist. She volunteered for The Sonder Market, a student-run local food cooperative. Sally also designed lesson plans and taught art and art history in Chapel Hill and Carrboro public schools as chair of Art&Life, an after-school program through the Campus Y. As a Cabinet Y Member, she procured funding to develop a partnership with the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at Chapel Hill’s Ackland Art Museum and planned to invest in the Community Empowerment Fund and the Student Environmental Action Committee.
Sally with Olivia Zitkus ’20 in New Mexico (Summer 2019).
A fearless adventurer, Sally’s summer experiences took her from the mountains of the Pacific Northwest to New York City, and many places in between. She studied abroad in Seville, Spain, an experience that included travels to Portugal, Switzerland, and Andorra. For the past two summers, she worked at the Turner Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she curated and installed shows, worked with artists, and wrote and designed catalogues. Wherever Sally’s curiosity took her, she sought out ways to build and enrich relationships with other Morehead-Cains, Carolina students, and new acquaintances.
In high school, the Charlotte native served as president of Charlotte Country Day School’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society, where Sally worked to bring art and creativity to children in area hospitals and schools. She was also art director and editor of the art and literary magazine OPUS and was involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor.
The Morehead-Cain community is heartbroken by Sally’s loss. Our love goes out to her parents, her sisters, her extended family, and her many friends.