Several months after the tragic death of rising senior in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science Mihir Boddupalli, students convened on the Norris East Lawn for a vigil to honor and celebrate the life of Mihir.
A brother in the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and involved in Campus Solutions, Boddupalli had a significant presence on campus and is greatly missed by the Northwestern community as a brother, a friend and a classmate.
The vigil began with three prayers, followed by a performance by A Cappella groups Brown Sugar and the Freshmen Fifteen. Following speeches, a candle lighting and moment of silence were held in Mihir’s honor. Students were able to write memories and thoughts in a signature book for Mihir’s family to read.
“This is a gathering to remember a family member who passed away this summer and to share some fond memories from friends faculty and staff in the presence of his parents.” – Northwestern Chaplain Tahera Ahmad
“Over the past few months, seeing how our community has come together is a testament to Mihir’s character. The memories and stories shared about Mihir have reflected his sense of humor, positive attitude and his ability to make others feel really loved. Mihir made people around him smile, a quality that will not go unrecognized by the Northwestern community. Although his time with us was too short, his memory does not have to be. Every time we get to share a story about him, it’s like getting to meet him again.” – Associated Student Government President Julia Watson
“Mihir was one of those kids prior to meeting that I really wanted to meet. He went on to take on a role kind of as a mentor to me. As I think about this today, as a senior now, I just know I just owe so much to his guidance, his compassion; he really helped me when I didn’t think it was possible. He was an amazing friend. There was never a dull moment with him. He did so much for me and with every subsequent step that I take in my life, I know that Mihir was a part of that so I thank him for that.” – Brad Winters (right), a McCormick senior who planned the memorial, and Pike brother
“I didn’t know when I first became friends with him how much of an impact he would have on my life. I learned so much from him. These lessons are things that I’m going to carry on with me and are things that a lot of people can learn from. Over the past three years I’ve grown a lot from the things he’s taught me. The thing that mattered most to Mihir was cultivating his relationships with people. I learned from him that people are the most important thing in life and if you surround with people you care about, people that will be there for you no matter what, then that’s what really helps you in life. Mihir was one of those people that I knew would always be there for me.” – Nikhil Byanna (speaking above)
“The reality is, we never truly lose the person we love. You remember him when a joke is told. We thank you Mihir for the spirit and the care you brought to this community.” – Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin (above)
“When he was with a group of people, he was not satisfied unless everyone was happy. If one person was in pain or sad about something, he had the incredible ability to find ways to cheer you up.”– Nikhil Byanna