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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
\Everyone here knew her by her smile\

Brittany Zimmermann:

\Everyone here knew her by her smile\

After the tragic death of UW-Madison junior Brittany Sue Zimmermann, friends and former teachers spoke of the student's character.  


Elizabeth Dostal, Marshfield high school assistant principle and guidance counselor to Zimmermann, discussed her relationship with the student.  


Brittany was filled with such hope and such joy,"" Dostal said. ""She was excited to be a college student in Madison and to attain her dreams. To know that today those dreams are gone and she is gone and her smile is gone is very disheartening for us."" 


According to Dostal, attending UW-Madison was a goal of Zimmermann's upon entering high school. She took the most rigorous courses available, completing eight Advanced Placement courses by the end of her senior year and earning college credit for all of them.  


Dostal said she had a smile that wouldn't stop and that she was an extremely positive, diligent and strong willed student.  


Zimmermann worked in areas around her hometown community of Marshfield, Wisc. She volunteered at the local elementary schools and at Hope Lodge, a hostess for cancer patients.  


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""It is a very somber day here in Marshfield, but the high school has enacted our crisis management program where counselors are always available for anyone who wants to talk,"" Dostal added.  


Joanne Burg of UW-Madison's Office of the Registrar said that Zimmermann worked in the office for three years.  


""Other students who worked [with her] always loved Brittany because she was fun--they all became a family,"" Burg said.  


According to the Office of the Registrar, Zimmermann was always thinking about her future.  

Burg said she talked about what she wanted in her future.  


""She started thinking about what it meant to balance going to medical school and getting married and starting a family, and what that meant for her future and whether she could do it all. She had all the normal questions that people do at that stage, but she was really optimistic about it,"" Burg said. 


With the stress of majoring in Microbiology and Immunology and thinking about applying to medical school, Zimmermann was still optimistic about everything going on in her life.  


""Everyone here knew her by her smile. I saw the picture they pulled off of Facebook and it was even bigger than that, she could just light up a room,"" Burg said.  


UW-Madison Dean of Students Lori Berquam expressed remorse about the tragedy and explained what the university was doing in reaction to the situation.  


""What has happened is awful. We're trying to pull together a vigil and some more information about Brittany so we can possibly start a website. We're kind of all working on getting a bunch of things done at the same time,"" Berquam said.  


There will be a vigil for Zimmermann on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on Library Mall. Berquam will lead the ceremony, and student representatives from the Associated Students of Madison and the Wisconsin Union Directorate and the Union Council will all participate.  


Students with questions should contact Joanne Burg at 608-262-3964.

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