TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Hundreds of people came together Wednesday to celebrate former Florida State University president Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte who passed away last month, leaving behind a legacy in Tallahassee.
D'Alemberte truly was an inspiration to everyone he crossed paths with during his life. His wife, Patsy, says he was so upbeat and optimistic, he was always smiling, even in his sleep.
It was an emotional day, but there were also a lot of laughs in Wednesday's ceremony as those closest to D'Alemberte shared stories about their time with him.
One story that sums up how beloved he was comes from one of his students at FSU that said when you would walk on campus with him, it was the longest walk ever for one simple reason.
Everyone wanted to talk to him and D'Alemberte knew each one of them and genuinely cared to hear about their life.
Dozens of people WTXL spoke to told me he truly was an inspiration, his energy was contagious, and he never stopped wanting to do more and help more people.
"Sandy has left many large indelible foot prints wherever he's tread and he'll be remembered for his works alone. He's just a beautiful man who lived a beautiful life," said Jim Bax, one of D'Alemberte's close frined. "We've remained very close friends for 52 years."
From the stories told Wednesday, he lived a strong, happy and meaningful life and his accomplishments are proof of that.
He wasn't just president of FSU, he served as the dean of the college of law, he was president of the American Bar Association and an international champion of human rights.
Remembrances and stories poured in at Wednesday's ceremony.
Each person had a difference relationship with Sandy, but all describe him the same way, saying he lived an extraordinary life even until the last day of his life, doing what he loved: Working as a lawyer.