Volume 83, Issue 15
A Tribute to Sweezy inside
SERVING BREVARD COLLEGE SINCE 1935 The silence was so clear in the white-filled night. The angels bowed in sorrow welcoming an unexpected child. The air, so calm as you passed through the sky, so bright as your soul ascended. Hush the souls; hush the tears; calm the fury; calm the fears. We lift you up through this beautiful descending snow with your laughter, this love, and your light. A light that is dimmed a shade now, but forever will shine through the grief, the hurt, and the loss.
December 13, 2017 Like this beautifully fallen, uniquely crafted blanket that illuminates the black of night. All of us are here, bowed in sorrow, sitting in the silence so clear. “Sweezy,” by Kirsten Lucas
December 13, 2017
Much loved student dies unexpectedly at age 20 By: Jordon Morgan, Calum McAndrew and Florian Peyssoneaux
“He always made me smile, no matter what kind of day I had. I loved him,” Dean of Students Debbie D’Anna said as faculty, staff, students and community members came together Saturday night to mourn the death of Rakeem Sweezy. From Shelby, N.C, “Sweezy,” as he was known around campus, was a much beloved student, resident advisor, theatre major and all around Brevard College enthusiast. He died in his dorm room in East Beam on the evening of Friday, Dec. 8. at the age of 20. As a first-semester sophomore, few students can say they have achieved more than Sweezy in such a short period of time. He was named freshman of the year in May 2017, was an active member of the Brevard College Theatre Program as well as the Campus Activities Board, and he became a resident advisor in his freshman year. More than all this, however, he seemed to have found a place in the heart of almost everyone at the college he loved. From the president of the college to first semester students, almost everyone has a Sweezy story, and many of these were shared at a vigil hosted in Sweezy’s memory on Saturday evening. Approximately 200 people attended the event in the Francis Pavilion of the Porter Center. The tributes came from every corner of the room. The floor was open in the Pavilion for people to share their stories and to grieve, mourn and celebrate this larger-than-life man. “He personified what Brevard College is, and what we hope folks get out of this experience,” said Brevard College President David Joyce. “This is the most difficult thing that can happen to a college community. He brought so much joy to every one of us.” Though Sweezy was just 20 when he died, campus minister Sharad Creasman spoke about the massive impact he had made in such a short life., “When some people’s lives end, it can feel as if they lived 100, or 1000 years,” he said. “You cannot walk around campus and find a place where you don’t have a Sweezy memory,” said fellow resident advisor Amanda McBriar. “He left his mark everywhere on this campus.” Some stories were nostalgic, and the memories seemed to pull on the heartstrings of everyone in attendance. Others amazingly had the entire pavilion in an uproar of laughter., none more so than political communications professor Ralph Hamlett, who told of his final encounter with Sweezy. “He came by my office, and gave me a bear hug, which he always did,” Hamlett said. “I said to him, ‘Wow, you smell good!’ He asked me, ‘What do I smell like?’ I told him, ‘Vanilla.’ He replied, ‘I did that for you. I just wanted to be your favorite dessert.’ “A more loving man, a more loving person, I have never met,” Hamlett said. Junior Emma Moore told a story about working with Sweezy. “Every time I walked in, I heard music, and it was always Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, or Tina Turner,” she said. McBriar echoed this memory, saying, “If you knew Sweezy, you knew the songs.” As t