The Stephen Richard Kerbs, B'67 Library Endowment Fund was created in 1998 by family and friends of Mr. Kerbs. The endowment funded the creation of the Stephen Richard Kerbs Exhibition Area and a donor recognition wall on the 3rd floor of Lauinger Library. Income from the fund also allows the library to mount ongoing exhibitions in the exhibition area. The exhibition area and donor recognition wall were dedicated on February 28, 1998.
Mr. E. A. (Tony) Kerbs, C'73, remembered his brother at the dedication with the following words:
Stephen Richard Kerbs was born on January 8, 1945 and he died on October 24, 1972. He lived most of his life in Rumson, New Jersey. He attended Holy Cross School in Rumson and Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ, before entering Georgetown University.
Georgetown was the singular institution in his short life for which he held high personal regard. He was a good student and a good friend to many, including his buddies in the Fussers. He graduated from the School of Business Administration in 1967 and volunteered for the US Army.
He served his country in Vietnam and we'll always wonder if his leukemia found its origin in the Agent Orange-laden jungles of that country. He married Susan Ferris Mudd of St. Louis shortly after his return from war and had a beautiful and healthy year with his new wife before he became ill. He died in his 27th year at the slow and severe hand of cancer.
Stephen's life is notable because of the tragedy of its brevity. The ultimate and defining act of his existence was his battle with disease. We never know how strong we are until we are tested. Stephen was like an oak tree whose taproot was anchored in hope and his faith. His tree was stable. You couldn't push it. It was strong to the end. His loved ones stood in the shade of that tree and were bathed in a new respect and love for him.
Twenty-five years later we still deal with the thwarted desires that arise when someone we love dies. We want him to be with us still. We desire his companionship and blessing. We long for the connection we once had that helped to define our own youth. We are still assaulted by waves of desire that will never be met.