By Khendall Beale–The Mary Dod Memorial Chapel was filled over capacity as students, faculty members, family members and fraternity brothers gathered to celebrate and recognize the legacy of fallen lion Anthony Washington yesterday evening.
Washington was killed during a car crash on Ashmun Avenue, seconds away from one of the entrances of Lincoln University’s campus, last Friday.
The tree, where the tragic accident occurred, is now an unofficial monument of remembrance for Washington. Last Saturday, students gathered as Washington’s fraternity brothers of Iota Phi Theta held a candle light vigil around the tree.
The candles have been burning all week long.
The memorial service was organized by University Chaplain Frederick Faison and Washingtons’ fraternity brothers of Iota Phi Theta.
“This is the time for the campus to unify again,” Faison said.
During the memorial service, students and faculty members spoke out about the various ways that they remember Washington, whom many of his closest friends referred to as A. WASH.
At the end of every memory stated, the congregation collectively stated, “We Remember Him.”
Washington’s favorite movie was the Lion King, and many of his close friends noted that no one in this world could hold another movie to the film in A.Wash’s opinion, not even Lion King II, the sequel.
“I remember Anthony from before he began his freshman year from attending a reception held for incoming freshman who were Lincoln University scholarship recipients,” Vice President F. Carl Walton said during the memorial. “I knew then that he would make an impact on campus, and he did.”
Washington had earned an official Lincoln University title, Mr. Legacy, last year during the Mr. Lincoln University competition. Miss Lincoln University Nava Goodman recalled his speech.
“I am Lincoln University, is what you [Washington] said during the Mr. Lincoln University competition last spring,” she said. “And you are Lincoln University.”
After the closing of the memorial, the brothers of Iota Phi Theta led students and faculty to the fraternity’s plot, as they acknowledged affectionate memories of Washington through many fraternity traditions including stepping and reciting fraternity songs.
The Student Life and Development Office has sponsored six buses to Washington’s funeral service, which is being held today at Christ The King Church located at 145-39 Farmers Boulevard in Springfield Gardens, N.Y.
The viewing is set to begin at 9 a.m. through 12 noon, and the Mass is set to be held from 12 noon to 1 p.m.
This past Monday, students were able to sign up for busses in the Student Life and Development Office for transportation to the service.
Keeping the legacy of ‘Mr. Legacy’ alive is a campus initiative.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. and the Student Government Association are collectively raising money to give to the Washington family.
The Class of 2012, in which Washington was a dedicated member, has made a monetary donation to the family. The Class of 2012 is getting a plaque of honor made to be given to the Washington family with the official senior class T-Shirt.
University departments like the Mary Dod Memorial Chapel and student organizations such as Big Sister, Little Sister Mentoring Program, have contributed flower arrangements for the service.
Among the thousands of fond memories of Washington, his smile was said to be one of the most remembered among the crowd.
Washington’s smile was his trademark on campus and the forefront of his legacy, which Lincoln University is determined to keep alive.