A “campus celebrity” was remembered Wednesday night as students filled the Lakeside Patio to remember Adam Levine, the senior who died early Saturday morning after attending Ultra Music Festival Friday night.
At a candlelight vigil under a full moon, fraternity brothers, student government colleagues and administrators described someone who was friends with everyone, and supported his friends without exception. They described someone who lived life as a party and who would’ve loved the attention he was receiving – while also wanting them to stop crying.
“Adam was outgoing, caring, and had a great sense of humor; he always made his friends smile,” Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely said to start the ceremony.
It would be a night for sharing about Levine, Hillel executive director Igor Khoklov said, before reading the poem Epitaph, by Merrit Malloy, which spoke of love never dying, only people.
Then, Levine’s friends from Student Government (SG) — where he was a two-time senator, vice chair of public relations and program coordinator of the Freshman Leadership Council — and brothers from Alpha Epsilon Pi, shared a number of stories that elicited both laughter and tears.
SG President Brianna Hathaway fought through tears as she remembered the “only person who could make SG somewhat cool.”
Hathaway said the moment she knew she needed to be his friend was when Levine capped a round of personal introductions in SG with a line that filled the room with laughter.
“When it came to his turn, he flashed a smile and said, ‘My name is Adam Levine, like in Maroon 5, but obviously way better, and I’m the freshman senator.’”
She struggled as she spoke of the weekly lunches she could no longer have, and laughed as she remembered Levine’s enthusiastic saying when he approved of what was said in senate: “Yes, mama, yes!”
Levine’s roommate in the Alpha Epsilon Pi house for the majority of the last two years, Harry Kroll, read a collection of texts and Facebook messages he had found in the days since his friend’s death. There was the time he responded to a message about exercising first amendment rights with, “I try not to exercise anything.” And the time he declined a dinner invitation from Kroll by telling him to send pictures of the food, so he could “eat it with his eyes,” it was a part of his “spring break diet.”
Then Kroll shared the messages that reflected the introspective and complex person Kroll said Levine didn’t let many see. It was a message in which Levine explained how he had shaped his own life up to that point, and was still figuring himself out, not yet ready to welcome a significant other into it.
Kroll asked those in the audience to raise their hands to show the impact Levine had on the campus community. Raise your hand if you knew Levine, Kroll said. He asked them to raise their hands if he had listened and helped them with a difficult personal issue, if he had opened up to them, if he made them smile and laugh during a bad day, and finally, if they had met a friend through Levine.
“Keep your hands up and look around you,” Kroll said. “Adam is no longer with us, and that fact is literally the most difficult thing that I have ever experienced in my life. But if you just raised your hand like I did, that means that Adam lives on in at least one relationship on your life. Because of Adam, you and I have a new, meaningful connection with people we care about. If I ask one thing of all of us, it’s that we never, ever, forget that.”
Brothers from Levine’s fraternity and friends from SG shared more tributes and stories. As they spoke, they shared their lament for his death and loved for his life.
After Khokhlov said a prayer, he announced that a service for Levine would be held at Hillel Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Candles were lit and the vigil ended in somber silence. Students crowded around pictures of Levine lined across a table, waiting to sign their name in a book for his family.