Many East Carolina University students and friends gathered around the Cupola last night to commemorate and remember the lives of Shea Crothers and James “Beau” Stanley who passed away earlier this month.
Friends of the victims reflected on the times they have spent with Crothers and Stanley. Stories, memories and eulogies were shared about the victims, bringing both laughter and tears to the crowd listening.
Anthony Fraraccio, president of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), was one of many people who helped plan the vigil. He said knew both of the victims and found the public vigil to be the best way to honor them.
“We are all one community. Granted, letters might separate you for a certain period of time but outside of that, we all go to the same school. We are all trying to do the best we can while we are here and make the most of it,” Fraraccio said. “That is why we believe the entire school should be able to have their own vigil instead of feeling like it is an inclusive event.”
Fraraccio explained how this tragedy has made him value life more and recognize just how fragile life is. Fraraccio said he wants everyone to share the same value for life that he has now discovered.
“Have the most fun you can. Be the safest you can and do the best you can. Do everything to the most because you never know when your time is coming,” Fraraccio said.
Carli Garrett, a freshman interior design major, met Stanley in the fall of 2018 when they first arrived at ECU. She explained how his kindness and big heart were apparent from the beginning of their friendship.
“Beau was the most pure, selfless, fearless and loving soul who put off a special type of energy that you are lucky to come across in a lifetime,” Garrett said. “There isn’t a day that went by that he didn’t have a smile on his face. He was the light in everyone’s lives.”
Ayden Reed, a freshman business major, said he had the privilege of knowing Stanley since they were in the third grade. Reed spoke about their friendship and the impact he had on her.
“He was everything beautiful in life and when you met him he just felt like home,” Reed said. “He showed me what true love was and was definitely the definition of it.”
Reed is also one of Crothers’ sorority sisters and was able to share a little bit about who Crothers was and her legacy.
“I know that she wanted the best for her life and for everybody else’s life. She definitely touched my life,” Reed said. “She was just very genuine and you can tell. Whenever you first meet her, you just instantly get happy and you can’t get sad around her.”
Emma Kauffman, the president of Sigma Sigma Sigma at ECU, shared a few words about Crothers, who was her sorority sister. Kauffman explained why Crothers was not only an amazing sister, but friend as well.
“Shea was an outstanding member that demonstrated each of the values of Tri Sigma in a beautiful way daily. She brought so much happiness to so many people and her smile lit up any room she walked into,” Kauffman said. “Her positive energy always radiated through any struggles she faced. We are all better people because we knew Shea.”
Garrett and Reed bought 5,000 purple bracelets with gold letters. They will be selling them starting Wednesday, April 24 outside of the former Dowdy Student Store located in Wright Place. The front will say, “Shea and Beau” and the back will say, “In loving memory.” According to Garrett, all proceeds from the bracelets will go to the families of the four victims.