A memorial celebrating and honoring the life of Andrew Pochter ’15, who was killed during civil unrest in Egypt on June 28, will be held this Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. in the Great Hall of Peirce Dining Hall. The service, planned by a committee of students and staff members, is open to the entire community, and all are encouraged to attend.
“I’d really love as many people as possible to show up,” Sam Bumcrot ’14, who helped organize the memorial, said. “Anybody who knew him [personally], knew of Andrew or just really wants to be a part of this ﾗ it’s open for everybody.”
Rebecca Varnell ’15, who lived with Pochter in Hillel House and also served on the committee, agreed, adding, “Especially freshmen and people that didn’t know Andrew ﾗ there’s this huge thing that happened to our community that we want everybody to feel like they can understand. It’s for everyone.”
The memorial will feature elements from Pochter’s expansive range of interests and involvement on campus, with poetry readings, story-sharing and musical performances by students who were close to Pochter, including his rugby teammates, members of the Middle Eastern Student Association and Hillel and his Alpha Delta Phi fraternity brothers. “The best thing that we’re going to get across is all the things that Andrew did here at Kenyon and how many people really appreciate him,” Bumcrot said.
Director of Counseling Services Patrick Gilligan echoed Bumcrot’s opinion. “I think that what people will see is a real reflection of his kindness and his character,” he said.
The committee, which consists of Dean of Students Hank Toutain, Gilligan, Hillel Director Marc Bragin, Director of the Board of Spiritual and Religious Life Helen Svoboda-Barber, Zoe Lyon ’15, Emily Graf ’15, Qossay Alsattari ’16, Adam Reed ’15, Andrew Firestone ’14, Michael Kengmana ’14, Josh Sherman ’14, Joe Barden ’15, Bumcrot and Varnell, has been meeting since late September to organize the memorial service, according to Gilligan.
During meetings, they had two main goals ﾗ solving all of the logistical questions like place and time and also programming the memorial itself. “This is a really meaningful and tender task that we took on,” Gilligan said. “We really wanted to find a way to honor Andrew and to honor his family.”
Ultimately, they decided on the Great Hall as the location. “It seems super fitting,” Varnell said. “I have this hilarious picture of Andrew sitting in the Great Hall with one of my headbands pushing all of his hair back, just being a goon. And it’s cool that the service is happening where he spent so much time, where he ate most of his meals and [did his] homework and hung out with his friends.”
Community members are also encouraged to make donations to the Andrew Pochter Memorial International Studies Fund, which was established to support students who plan to study abroad or promote international understanding through an internship or undergraduate experience in Middle Eastern nations.