5Cs Honor Jeffery Frum PZ ’12

Over seven months after Jeffery Frum PZ ’12 passed away, the 5C community continues to honor his memory in a variety of ways, including providing a scholarship in his name and the possibility of painting a mural on Pitzer College’s campus.

On July 26, 2012, Frum died in a Kubota (agricultural vehicle) accident while working on a farm in New Zealand owned by neighbors from his hometown of Newport Beach, Calif., according to his mother Mardi Frum. He had been taking time to experience life abroad and work on the farm between graduating in May 2012 and launching his career. During his time at Pitzer, Frum majored in economics and minored in environmental studies.

Frum’s aunt, Mary Fran Jett, chose to pay tribute to her nephew by creating an endowed scholarship in his name.

“Jeffery was not able to fulfill his goals in life, but through the scholarship, we will help other kids achieve their goals,” Jett said. “I gain great joy from it; it just seems right.”

She said the idea to begin a scholarship came when a relative asked for a contribution to a church scholarship fund in lieu of Christmas presents.

Although Jett originally considered creating a scholarship exclusively for baseball players since Frum played for three years as an infielder for the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team, the college cannot accept scholarship funds for athletics due to their NCAA Division III classification. Instead, all students may be candidates for the scholarship, but the selection process remains in discussion. Jett hopes that the scholarship fund will not only give back to the Pitzer community but will also provide a means for others who wish to pay tribute to Frum to contribute as well.

“I was trying to find a way to keep Jeffery’s memory going,” Jett said.

Several of Frum’s friends from Pitzer, including Austin Holden PZ ’13, with whom he attended St. Margaret’s High School in the Newport Beach area, would also like to create a mural in his honor at Pitzer. Annie Brown PZ ’13 has volunteered to paint the mural, which will take after a photo of Frum in New Zealand that was featured at his celebration of life.

“Because Jeff loved Pitzer so much, we felt that this would be fitting,” Holden said.

Holden said that the location of the mural has not yet been finalized.

Mardi Frum said that Pitzer College President Laura Trombley personally designated a chair in Pitzer’s new George C.S. Benson Auditorium to receive an inscription including Frum’s name and Pitzer’s motto, Provida Futuri, which means “Mindful of the Future.” Trombley also spoke at Frum’s celebration of life and wrote a personal letter to the Frum family.

“[Trombley] wrote that she was just amazed at the breadth of his friendships throughout the whole Claremont Colleges. Of course, we weren’t amazed by that because Jeff was truly kind to everyone,” Mardi Frum said. “But it was really neat to hear that from her.”

Frum’s former teammates also chose to honor him this season. P-P baseball coach Frank Pericolosi said that the 2012-2013 senior baseball captains, Stuart Gano PZ ’13, Nick Gentilli PO ’13, and Erik Munzer PZ ’13, chose to have the initials “J.F.” stitched onto both the home and away baseball caps that the team wore at all of their games this season in order to remember him. The caps were unveiled at the first game of the season in early February, which was dedicated to Frum and was also the alumni game, allowing Frum’s family and past teammates to come together and remember him.

“We had a moment of silence for Jeff and mentioned some of the many positive things he has done for Pomona-Pitzer baseball and for the entire Pitzer College community,” Gentilli wrote in an e-mail to TSL. “We felt that [the baseball caps] would be a great way to remember Jeff and all the great memories we had with him.”

Pericolosi, who worked with Frum during his entire time on the P-P team, said, “Jeff was a person who put the team first, ahead of the individual, and he was a pleasure to have on the team and to know.”

Mardi Frum said that the outreach from the 5C community after Frum’s death has been incredible.

“We’ve had so many different people reaching out that were so unexpected, which has been wonderful. We’ve just been overwhelmed with the response, and it’s been a big part of the beginning of our healing process after losing Jeff,” Mardi Frum said.

She expressed her gratitude toward the 5C community for showing its support of her family by celebrating Frum’s life.

“It’s going to be a long road for us, but we’re very lucky to have a very strong living faith and a lot of people who we are really loved by,” she said. “And those are the things that really get you through a loss like this.”

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