Remembering Wendall Jackson '17

issue 03 | fall 2015
UnCommon Ground: Remembering Wendall Jackson '17

More than 1,000 students and staff gathered on Davis Plaza on the evening of Sept. 1 to mourn the loss of Wendell Jackson ’17, a 21-year-old Chicago native who was found dead by authorities in the College’s Biological Reserve.

“There wasn’t a student that Wendell didn’t care about. And he had that smile, which seemed to stay with you the entire day,” President Adam Weinberg said to the crowd. “He was both liked and admired by all who knew him. He was an important member of our community and will be missed.”

After failing to appear at a series of commitments, Jackson was reported missing by his friends on Aug. 31 in the evening. In the early hours of the search, more than 700 students gathered alongside Campus Security, the Granville Police Department, and other professionals to search the campus and surrounding areas before dark. It was not until morning, however, that Jackson’s body was found in the College’s nature preserve north of the main campus. Authorities believe the cause of death was suicide. Counselors were made available for students throughout the search and in the hours and days following the announcement of Jackson’s death. In a series of emails to students, Weinberg issued a call for compassion and action when community members notice students who may be struggling, and the loss prompted campus conversation about mental health issues among students. Those conversations continue.

We remember Wendell Jackson: a junior majoring in athletic training; a resident assistant; an active member of the Big Red Fitness Club; and a graduate of Urban Prep Academy. We continue to keep Jackson’s mother and three sisters in our thoughts, and we encourage all who knew Jackson to remember his passion, his smile, and his empathy toward others.

Published November 2015
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