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A Tribute to Trebek- An Icon of Intelligence, A Commander of Curiosity, A Hero of Hope

By Rena Lenchitz (‘23)

To be frank, I am not quite sure where to begin. Alex Trebek, host of television show Jeopardy!, has passed away, and I am at a lost for words. When it was first announced, I received such overwhelming love and support from friends and community members that it seemed as if Alex was a part of my immediate family. In a sense, he really was.

I would say one of my most defining traits as an individual is my undying love for Jeopardy! I religiously watched the show every evening for as long as I can remember; 7:30 p.m. EST was a cherished and heavily anticipated time of day when I was growing up. As cliche as it might sound, nothing else in the world mattered when I plopped down in the living room and saw Alex appear on the screen. I was enthralled with the glory, the glamor, and most importantly, the guts that each and every contestant brought to the game. Most importantly, I fell in love with the world and its knowledge, and I attribute this passion to Alex Trebek.

Alex was a fixed presence in my life; his intelligence unwavering, his confidence exuberant, and his zeal for exploration and life in general so palpable I felt it from just looking at him. Most of all, Alex gave me so much hope and so much fervor that I will never cease in the quest to satiate my curiosity. Jeopardy! was a daily reminder of how wonderful humanity can be. Alex challenged not only his contestants, but his viewers, to be better, to continuously learn, and to listen with an open heart and open mind.

After over thirty years of hosting Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek has taught me an insurmountable amount of trivia knowledge. But I could dispose of all of this today and still be reminded of a few things that are so fundamentally Alex that I feel must be shared. There are some questions in this world that don’t elicit easy answers. There are some things in life that require unrelenting desire: the desire to learn, desire to improve, and the never-ending desire to love one another. There are moments in life that are historic, there are plays and shows that are breathtaking, and there are memories that we must cling to so strongly and never let go of our grasp. Alex Trebek has shown the world that life is so much more than a defining moment, but rather a collection of moments every second of every day that gives us purpose, gives us meaning, and gives us hope for the future.

Alex Trebek, thank you for challenging me. Thank you for showing me that my future is bright and prosperous. Thank you for loving me as you love your own children. Thank you for giving me hope.

I implore all of you to read Alex’s memoir “The Answer is…:Reflections on My Life.” There is so much more to Alex than what I have previously mentioned.

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