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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Fraternity holds memorial for deceased brother

Rebecca Noble
Rebecca Noble/The Daily Wildcat Former Phi Gamme Delta member Mike Anderson’s memorial service is held on the rooftop of the Fiji house on Wednesday, April 9th.

Students walked in silence down First Street toward the Phi Gamma Delta house on Wednesday night.

FIJI fraternity brothers stood on the front steps of the house as people arrived. Guests huddled close to each other as they filed through the open front doors and shuffled into the courtyard.

The FIJI brothers and their guests gathered to observe a memorial for Michael Anderson, 19, a pre-business freshman, who died last week. Anderson was a member of FIJI.

His death, which has left many students in shock, happened early Friday morning after Anderson and a friend climbed onto the roof of Colonia de la Paz Residence Hall. Anderson fell off of a 20-foot tall, tower-like ventilation structure and suffered injuries. His friend tried to revive him after the fall but was unsuccessful, and shortly after emergency responders arrived at the scene, Anderson was pronounced dead.

The University of Arizona Police Department is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Anderson’s death.

FIJI chapter president Spencer Shugrue chose to wait for more people could file in before beginning his introduction. The patio was at full capacity, including the balcony and rooftop, where many students stood to observe Anderson’s memorial service.

A priest soon arrived and led the mourners in prayer shortly.

Elderly people had time to prepare for death, he said, but in a case like this, there is no time to do so and no way to make sense of it.

The priest also spoke about how in the greek system, relationships such as these have meaning, and are the kind to last a lifetime. He added that these bonds help people get through tragedies such as Anderson’s death.

Several brothers said a few words about Anderson, speaking about how outgoing “Manderson” was and how he always positive, even on his darkest days. They said he always had a goofy, infectious smile on his face, which he called his secret weapon.

Some of those gathered at the service began to cry as FIJI members stood up to share their memories of their relationships with Anderson. Those who went up to talk about Anderson said he was a great guy and an even better brother.

While the house quieted down with their closing snaps, Anderson’s pledge class led the service with a pledge of brotherhood before ringing the FIJI bell. Then 30 rings sounded through the silence, one for each member of the Fall 2013 Pledge Class.

In Shugrue’s closing remarks, he advised the crowd to stop and think twice before doing something dangerous, and to remember Anderson.

To close the service, 120 candles were then lit.

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