Like her infectious personality, word spread quickly that Iowa State journalism professor, Barbara Mack was gone.
"Finding out through some of my colleagues that she had passed, it's really, really tough for all of us," said Iowa State student, Jennifer Hakey.
Within hours of her death, stories of tough love and her passion for the English language filled Facebook newsfeeds.
Annette Beswick writes, "Barbara Mack was the professor who challenged me the most and made me a better student."
From Rachel Servais: "Iowa State has lost the best professor there ever was. Words cannot describe how much you will be missed."
"She treated students as if they were already professionals and in doing so, held them to such high standards," said Michael Bugeja, the director of the Greenlee School of Journalism.
Barbara Mack was a Des Moines native.
She was a unique soul who lists Beethoven alongside Jay-Z as her favorite musicians.
She graduated from Iowa State and Drake, and pursued successful careers in law, and in the classroom where she inspired students for 25 years.
"She said that if you let people make things difficult, then they will be. It's your decision. You can always push through, it's all about your attitude," said Iowa State student, Shalee Henson.
In this picture, she's shown teaching in her final hours.
Those who knew her best agree that she wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
"I’m grateful for the footprint she did leave so many students over the last decades of her time at Iowa State."