Reema Joseph Samaha was the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Mona Samaha of Centreville, Va. She lived in Centreville for her entire life, but she truly was a citizen of the world. She embraced her Lebanese heritage, was an active member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, traveled to the Middle East, and studied the languages and cultures of that part of the world. At Virginia Tech, she intended to minor in French and international studies.
Family came first for Reema. She had an exceptionally warm and close relationship with her parents and adored her older brother, Omar, who preceded her to Virginia Tech. Sister Randa, a junior at the University of Virginia, was her counterpart. They shared friends, traveled together, and visited one another at their respective schools. Reema also loved spending time with her beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Friendships were important to Reema. She maintained lifelong friendships with a diverse group of people who were drawn to her openness, cheerfulness, creativity, and wit. During her childhood, Reema particularly enjoyed performing in comical video productions with her many neighborhood friends. She shared her family’s passion for soccer and was named to three youth soccer all-star teams. She also had begun studying Tae Kwon Do.
As Reema matured, she pursued her passions for dance and theater. She performed on the Westfield High School dance team; she was a Cappies critics’ choice as the featured dancer in Westfield’s award-winning production of “Fiddler on the Roof”; and she belly-danced her way to victory in the school’s talent show. Reema was a member of Westfield’s Improvisation Group, earned rave reviews for her hilarious performance as the lead in Westfield’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” and appeared in the school’s production of “Oklahoma.” At Virginia Tech, she was a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, the Hill and Veil Middle Eastern Dance Group, and the Cedars of Lebanon Club.
Reema blended her joy of life with seriousness of mind. She graduated summa cum laude from Westfield, where she was a member of the National, French, and Science honor societies and a Thespian. Reema earned a 4.0 GPA at Virginia Tech and intended to major in urban planning.
Reema’s family is establishing a perpetual fund in her name to support students demonstrating outstanding abilities in dance or theater, excellent academic performance, and love of people and life.
Hometown: Centreville, Virginia
Freshman, University Studies
Student since fall 2006
Bachelor of Arts, International Studies
Bachelor of Arts, Public and Urban Affairs
© 2009 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University