Friends and Administrators Remember Warren Schor ’11

October 21, 2009 9:09 am0 comments
Juan Forrer

Students and faculty gathered in Sage Chapel yesterday to remember the life of Warren Schor ’11, who died last month from complications relating to H1N1 influenza.
“Today’s memorial provided us with an opportunity to celebrate Warren’s life,” said Nick Nixon ’11, president of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, of which Schor was a member. “Remembering the good things about him is comforting and helpful to all of Warren’s many friends.”
In observance of Jewish tradition, the service was held exactly 30 days after Schor’s death. A wide swath of Cornell students attended, including Schor’s fraternity brothers, friends from the sixth floor of Mary Donlon Hall and friends from high school who also go to Cornell.
Vice President of Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy ’73 said she never met Schor, but became familiar with his life and legacy as she attended his funeral service in his hometown and spent an evening with the brothers at ZBT.
“I have come to appreciate the zeal with which Warren embraced life,” she said.
She spent time last weekend reviewing Schor’s application for admission to the University and prepared quotes for the services. These provided glimpses into his interests and ambitions. She spoke about his work as a farmhand in his hometown, his love of animals and his interest in business.
She quoted his primary college essay, which consisted of a story about an experience on the farm in which Schor participated in the birth of a calf. Shortly after assisting in the birth, he went to check on the calf in the stall, which was lying dead and motionless.
“Seeing that calf die made me realize that life is very fragile. It made me realize that at any moment, I could be that calf, and die,” Schor wrote.
Brothers from his fraternity remembered how he took care of his dog Buddy, always walking him in the morning. They also remembered how he took care of his friends until his death.
“The last time I saw Warren, he was sick in bed,” Keith Cochran ’11 said. “We needed a ride to an 8:40 class. He said that if we couldn’t find anyone, he would drive. And he did.”
Members of the fraternity have been more active in the prevention of the flu and have supported the moratorium on events by the Intrafraternity Council.
“To anyone that doesn’t take the flu seriously I would say that they are exposing themselves to a very serious health risk,” Nixon said in an e-mail. “Life is a fragile and precious thing that is preserved by making smart choices and staying informed.”
Chris Vandivort ’11, who met Schor during his sophomore year in high school, talked about the deep excitement that they shared for Cornell. They both applied together and thought they had no chance of getting in. Vandivort remembered one afternoon in the high school library, checking their admissions decisions online together. He remembered the wave of excitement that rushed over them when they found out that they were both accepted.
“We literally screamed so loud that five teachers appeared out of the walls and kicked us out of the library,” he said.
A common thread in all of the stories and remembrances that students had of Schor was his fun loving personality and compassion.
“If you thought of something stupid, ridiculous but fun, you would call Warren first,” Vandivort said.