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Statement from Illinois Wesleyan President Richard F. Wilson

August 25, 2005

The entire Illinois Wesleyan community is filled with tremendous sorrow and a deep sense of loss today over the death of Doug Schmied, a senior in accounting and computer science and co-captain of the Titan football team.

There are many people deeply affected by this tragic event, but the Schmied family is uppermost in our minds. 

Last night the football team and other friends gathered at Evelyn Chapel for a time of personal reflection, prayer, and a candlelight vigil.  As news of Doug’s death came to us, I witnessed a deeply moving outpouring of emotion and grief. 

All of us have faced the death of a loved one at some point in our lives.  What makes this death so tragic is that it happened to a student so early in his life, a student so strong and healthy who had touched the lives of others in meaningful ways.

In talking with Doug’s parents this morning, I drew inspiration from their desire to move through the next few days and weeks in a way that celebrates Doug’s life. 

At Illinois Wesleyan, those who knew Doug well cannot avoid the wrenching pain being felt today.  I hope this pain will be replaced over time with memories of the wonderful times shared with Doug and with a celebration of the impact he had on others.

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