The Philosophy Department is proud to announce the establishment of the Tarek A. Tannous Memorial Award, to be given each year to a student whose insight into global issues, interest in human nature, or passion for philosophical discourse is an inspiration to others. Tarek, a philosophy major, graduated in 1996. The award is endowed by his widow Jana Jackle, a 1997 English and French major. Jana contributed this biographical sketch of Tarek:
Witty, insightful, and brimming with a quiet confidence, Tarek Tannous was everyone’s friend. Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1974 just prior to the start of civil war, Tarek moved to Saudi Arabia as an infant and was raised there. As a young teenager he immigrated to the United States where he attended Mercersberg Academy and then Gettysburg College. After graduating from Gettysburg College as a Philosophy Major in 1996, Tarek lived in London and Boston before earning a Masters in Philosophy from West Chester University in 2000. He then started a promising career as an investigative journalist at the Daily Local News in West Chester, PA. He continued to live his passion for journalism at the City News in Rochester, NY, where he was described as, “...an editor’s dream: eager, ethical, bright, kind, sensitive, curious, persistent, and a strong writer.…He was blessed with strong journalistic instincts, and he had a rich, rewarding career ahead of him." Tragically, in early 2003, Tarek was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). For the next two years, Tarek fought his painful battle with leukemia with extraordinary strength, character, and humor. In March of 2005, Tarek married his fiancée, Jana (Wintish) Jackle (’97). He passed away three months later, at just 30 years old. A bass guitar player and an avid fan of soccer and basketball, Tarek was a truly fascinating person with a gift for connecting with others. He will always be loved dearly by the many friends he made, and he will live forever in their memories and their hearts.