January 29, 2001

Service Held in Sage to Remember Meng

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About 200 students gathered in Sage Chapel Saturday night to honor the memory of David Meng ’03, a student in the College of Arts and Sciences who died in Ithaca on Dec. 10.

Information on the location and nature of Meng’s death has not been released.

“Only the Ithaca Police and the Tompkins County Coroner can release the cause of death,” said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service. She added that the University has no information on the circumstances surrounding Meng’s death.

Meng, nicknamed “Odie” by his Pi Delta Psi fraternity brothers, was an economics major from Bayside, Queens. Many of the fraternity members attended the service. Both the Cornell chapter and the national Pi Delta Psi honored Meng’s memory on their websites.

“The real core of [the memorial service] was that about six of Dave’s friends shared some remembrances,” said Rev. Rick L. Bair, a minister with Cornell United Religious Work who presided over the service.

“It provided closure for a lot of people, especially the speakers,” said Silby Philip ’03, one of Meng’s fraternity brothers and a speaker at the memorial service.

Friends, fraternity brothers and Christian Fellows traveled from several other schools to attend the service, said Randy Chan ’02, Meng’s fraternity big brother.

“People shared memories,” he said. “[The atmosphere] ranged from sadness and regrets, but there was a lot of celebration of his life.”

“[David] was loyal, giving, kind — he was a really good friend,” Chan added.

The service, which lasted more than an hour, “was Christian in nature, since Meng was a Christian,” as were many of his fraternity brothers, Bair said.

Tony Shu, a local minister, read “a lesson from the gospel in Mandarin,” according to Bair. Bair said that Shu spoke to Meng’s mother, who was not able to attend the Sage service.

“It connected up the people who knew Dave … in their grief,” Bair said.

“It’s especially hard for college-age people [to accept death] because that’s not the way it should be,” he added.

Archived article by Maggie Frank