Campuswide memorial service planned for Friday

Members of the Case Western Reserve community are invited to attend a memorial service Friday for the four undergraduates who died last week in a plane crash outside Cleveland.

Classmates, student leaders and university officials will remember second-year students W. Michael Felten, 19, of Saginaw, Michigan, and Lucas Marcelli, 20, of Massillon, Ohio, as well as first-year students John Hill, 18, of St. Simons, Georgia, and Abraham Pishevar, 18, of, Rockville, Maryland.

“Our campus has suffered a terrible loss,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “This gathering allows us to come together in shared grief to honor these young men and comfort those most directly affected by their deaths.”

The service, scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 5 in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Grand Ballroom of the Tinkham Veale University Center, is closed to the general public. Among those addressing the audience are President Snyder, Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark, and Undergraduate Student Government President Taylor Gladys.

“I have been awed by the strength and compassion that our students, staff and faculty have demonstrated throughout these difficult days,” Stark said. “This occasion marks another moment to consider the enormity of what has happened and how best to move forward amid so much sadness.”

University Counseling continues to offer walk-in service, while Residence Life and other Student Affairs staff are working to provide support to the friends and roommates of the young men. Funerals were held Saturday for Felten, Marcelli and Pishevar. The service for Hill will take place Friday morning in Georgia.

“All of us at Case Western Reserve ache for the families of these young men,” President Snyder said. “None of us can imagine the devastating pain that they have experienced already, nor the ongoing loss they will in endure in the weeks, months and years to come. Our hearts are with them, and their sons always will be part of our university community.”

To those who knew them, the young men all were smart, ambitious, reliable and full of energy. Three of the young men had planned to attend medical school; Pishevar, meanwhile, was majoring in biomedical engineering but had not yet declared his intentions after graduation.

All four competed in high school athletics while carrying heavy academic loads. Three of the four were on the Case Western Reserve varsity wrestling team, and two were members of a campus fraternity.

A reception will follow Friday’s service.