It is easy to think we as Horned Frogs are young and invincible. We go to class, play Frisbee in the commons and enjoy friendship on weekends. But when we lose one of our own, all of that can fade away.
Suddenly losing a TCU student hurts. It hurts a lot. And in the last couple months, we’ve lost three. Clay York, Matt Nichols, Stewart Trese. Three Frogs too many, taken from those they loved and loved them back.
Our beautiful campus was rocked by a series of deep tragedies, and the losses remain hard to shake as we balance moving on with remembering the lives of those we lost. We will remember Clay, Matt and Stewart. But we must never forget, now more than ever, that TCU is special.
When a student passes at another university, his or her name may be left unremembered: one of many in an email sent monthly. But not here. Not at TCU. We are a family. Whether we found out through a campus-wide email, a text from a friend or a Facebook status, we all felt the loss. Whether we knew these men as close friends, acquaintances or simply as a fellow Frog, we all grieved.
Observe the depth and width of our campus’s reaction to death, observe how uniquely unified we are in tragedy and you will know where we can find light in darkness. At TCU, whether you realize it or not, you are inexorably tied to the Horned Frog family.
What you do and who you are will ripple through the campus whether you know all 8,000 people or only eight. You can always find a friend, and you will never feel small. Just as you can confirm this about yourself as you read these words, you can confirm that it is true about Clay, Matt and Stewart.
I cannot answer the questions of tragedy. It hurt us all to lose Clay, Matt and Stewart – no amount of words changes that. But I can say with unwavering conviction that though these Frogs may be gone, they will always be our family. They live on in this world because they live on in us. This semester has been hard for our campus, but remember that the family and community that make us special in life make us special in death.
Cody Westphal is the TCU Student Body President.