Neither Tal LeGrand nor Janet Tarbox graduated from our college. Yet they have been
integral to our goal of supporting students and expanding their horizons. Tal — Talmadge Moore LeGrand — died September 17 at age 89. I learned of his passing
from Janet’s message two days later to tell me that “sadly, ever so sadly” they would
not be able to attend our college’s fall scholarship luncheon.
In the years that I’ve known them, Tal and Janet never put themselves first. “He loved
being associated with you all and being able to make some small difference in the
lives of students in the journalism school,” Janet continued in her brief message.
Here’s the back story. When Tal arrived on campus, already a World War II veteran,
he met Charlotte Hammond Buchanan. Charlotte was the daughter of then dean of the
School of Journalism, George Andrew Buchanan — Dean Buck. Charlotte and Tal were married
for nearly 40 years before her death in 1987.
As Janet tells it, Tal spent the last 25 years of his life working to ensure that
an academic scholarship in the journalism school in the name of Dean Buck and his
daughter Charlotte reached an endowed and sustainable level. He more than succeeded.
They more than succeeded. Tal and Janet — or Janet and Tal — have been linked to each
other and linked to us as long as I’ve been here. Many students have benefited from
the scholarship they support. Of course, there’s more. In 2013, they donated five
$1000 scholarships to enable students to travel to the African country of Malawi on
a Maymester trip. Part of the experience involved our students working with children
orphaned by AIDS. Read article»
During Tal and Janet’s 26-year marriage, she was an Episcopal priest. Tal retired
after a lengthy career in law enforcement and public service.
Janet spoke eloquently and lovingly at Tal’s funeral recalling what it was about him
that generated such a sense of comfort for her and others who knew him. She recounted
a conversation with a hospice provider who struggled to break the formality of addressing
him as Mr. LeGrand. Tal finally persuaded her. But what should she call him? “Just
To me, Just Tal says a lot. So does just Tal and Janet. And just every one of you
who support our college and its schools in each and every way you just do.
Gifts in memory of Tal and in support of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications
may be made to the George A. Buchanan & Charlotte Buchanan LeGrand Endowed Scholarship
Pulitzer Prize-winning USC alumnus to speak at Buchheit Lecture
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael LaForgia is the speaker for the Buchheit
Family Lecture on Wednesday, November 2. LaForgia, investigations editor at the Tampa
Bay Times, graduated from USC in 2005 with a B.A. in English. Since joining the Times
in 2012, he has won two Pulitzers for local reporting.