Candlelight vigil celebrates student’s life

By Tara Kulash

Students and community members gathered Monday night in the Faner breezeway for a candlelight vigil in honor of Corey Gowin, a John A. Logan student who died Thursday.

Gowin was crossing the street in his wheelchair on Illinois 13 in front of University Mall when he was struck by a vehicle and died shortly after of sustained injuries.

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Born with cerebral palsy, attendees of the vigil called Gowin an inspiration to everyone.

Paris Griffin, a sophomore from Calumet City studying business management, said she helped coordinate the vigil because it’s important Gowin’s memory lives on. She said she knew Gowin through the organization OOPS! Entertainment, and Byron Madison, a senior from Cairo studying computer science, said he knew him from the organization Speaking and Teaching.

“That’s how you can tell how profound his impact was on this campus,” Griffin said. “It’s a little bit of everybody here.”

At the beginning of the gathering, E.J. Clark, a junior from St. Louis studying civil engineering, recited a poem he wrote for Gowin.

“Your love was the color of a rainbow and every color between it,” he read.

Students stepped up to tell stories of how inspirational Gowin was as a person and how much he loved God. They compared him to angels and soldiers and talked about his big smile and infinite love. One girl even asked every participant to hug the person next to him or her and say, “I love you.”

Many stories made the group laugh such as accounts of Gowin’s charm with the opposite sex and his ability to keep a sense of humor about his disability.

The vigil ended with prayers and songs such as “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine.”

Tara Kulash can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext. 255.

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