Over 100 community members gathered in Muller Chapel at Ithaca College Monday afternoon to honor Anthony Nazaire, 19, an Ithaca College student who was fatally stabbed on Cornell’s campus early Sunday morning.
Friends, family, faculty and fellow IC students attended the vigil, which was organized by Ithaca College and led by Father Carsten P. Martensen, the director of campus ministry.
“It’s great that we are all here, together, as a community, to remember, to celebrate and to thank God and one another, for one [Anthony Nazaire] who came into our midst,” Martensen said. “Each one of our lives are different because of Anthony. Whether we knew him or not, he’s had such an enormous impact and we must be grateful for that.”
Faculty members shared their various memories of Nazaire. Sean Reid, dean of the school of business, remembered Nazaire as an ambitious student who was “driven to be excellent.”
“One of the things he said to me was, ‘I need to be successful,’ and he had a plan for how to be successful,” Reid said. “Every faculty member from every discipline I talked to said he was really fired up. [The] most common thing people said was that he was a joy to have in class.”
Nazaire’s advisor, Prof. William J. Tastle, management, echoed Reid’s sentiment and praised Nazaire’s sense of purpose.
“[Nazaire] knew what he wanted to do and he was active,” Tastle said. “I saw him more while he was here than I saw some of my advisees I had for four years. I’ll always remember his desire to do more.”
People also shared personal stories of Nazaire, many of which were highly emotional and left the audience in tears. One student described him as a “ray of sunshine” while another said that it was impossible to be around Nazaire for more than five minutes without laughing.
Amidst the tearful reminiscing, several speakers also encouraged others to support one another during the tragic time to build a better community.
“To experience this kind of act creates a significant amount of energy, a disproportionate negative energy,” said Sean Eversley Bradwell, director of program and outreach. “I want to try to encourage you to do something about that energy to honor Anthony, to turn that energy into something positive and to commit to it.”
“Let us not forget Anthony,” Martensen said. “Let us make sure he lives in all of us.”
University Resources: Members of the Cornell community seeking support can called Gannett Health Services’ Counseling and Psychological Services (607-255-3277), the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (607-255-2673), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or find additional resources at caringcommunity.cornell.edu.