B.U. Bridge is published by the Boston University Office of University Relations.
BU remembers former SHA valedictorian and standout student volunteer
By David J. Craig
Nina DeVivo uses phrases such as "grace under pressure," "never stressed out," and "unbelievably mature" to describe Lisa Frost.
So when a coworker telephoned DeVivo, BU's senior assistant director of admissions, to tell her that Frost (COM'01, SHA'01) had been among the passengers on United Airlines Flight 175, the second hijacked plane that crashed into the World Trade Center the previous morning, she had difficulty absorbing it. "Absolutely devastating," says DeVivo, who worked closely with Frost when she was a student volunteer in the Office of Admissions and considered her "a little sister." "I took her out to dinner just last month, and we talked about her career plans and how she was thinking about getting into admissions work at a university in California. She would have been terrific at it. It was exciting to think about all she had ahead of her."
If what Frost achieved in 22 years is any indication, the terrorists responsible for her death on September 11 robbed her of a life full of personal and professional accomplishments.
Frost earned a dual bachelor of science degree, in hospitality administration from the School of Hospitality Administration and in advertising from the College of Communication. She was a model student both in and outside of the classroom. A University Scholar and a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, the California native graduated with a 3.96 GPA from SHA and with a 3.70 GPA from COM. She was the valedictorian and graduation speaker of her SHA class.
Frost juggled her studies with myriad extracurricular activities -- serving as a peer advisor at SHA, a volunteer in the Office of Graduate Admissions during her sophomore, junior, and senior years, and as president of the SHA student government during her senior year, and providing academic advising and guidance for groups of incoming students during orientation in the summer of 1999. Meanwhile, she held an internship at the Boston College Club in Boston, where she trained in all aspects of the private dinner club's management.
"Lisa was involved in just about every club and volunteer organization a student could possibly handle, and she helped create our school's honor society," says SHA Dean James Stamas. "And when she did something, she did it right."
Frost had been working as a sales and marketing associate for Where to Eat, a restaurant guide to Boston, since graduating in May. On September 11, she was flying home for a lengthy visit with her family in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., before relocating to San Francisco.
DeVivo met Frost on a BU recruiting trip at her Southern California high school in the fall of 1996. "From the moment you met Lisa, it was obvious she was very bright, articulate, and adventurous," says DeVivo. She bumped into Frost on campus the next fall, and the two struck up an acquaintance, which led to Frost becoming a volunteer in the Office of Admissions. Frost wrote articles for alumni newsletters, interviewed student applicants, and accompanied Office of Admissions staff on recruiting trips to speak to prospective BU students and parents.
"One time, Lisa, another admissions staff member, and I traveled to Portland, Oreg., for a recruiting event," says DeVivo. "We got to the hotel where the event was being held just an hour before people were going to start arriving, and the function room we were supposed to use was a complete mess. The other staff member and I closed the doors and worked with hotel staff to prepare the room and we left Lisa at the registration table to deal with the students and parents when they arrived. We relied on her like we would on another staff member."
Personally, Frost was a "terrific conversationalist" with an endearing giggle, DeVivo says, "and was a good listener, too." In her work, she wasn't a "rah-rah cheerleader type, but wanted to let people know what her BU experience was like and to get to know them. She was magic with both students and parents."
Frost was "as decent a human being as she was smart," says Stamas. "There was no phoniness about her whatsoever. I always thought I had to be careful speaking in front of her because if I made a mistake, she would politely tell me. She was such a sweet, sincere person. I thought I'd get old reading about her. I'm going to miss her."
Frost is survived by her father, Thomas, her mother, Melanie, and her 18-year-old brother, Daniel. She enjoyed playing volleyball, and spending time with her friends.
"Lisa never took for granted anything she got in life because she realized her parents made a lot of sacrifices to send her to BU," says DeVivo. "They never pressured her to get perfect grades or anything, but she knew how fortunate she was. So when an opportunity presented itself, she seized it."
A memorial service in honor of Frost will be held at Marsh Chapel at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 28. On Saturday, September 22, there will be another memorial service in her hometown of Rancho Santa Margarita.