Augsburg continues to mourn the loss of first-year student, Jason Stevens, who died last Wednesday, September 21 at the age of 19. Stevens was a member of the cross-country team, a chemistry student and an Honors student. He had only just come to Augsburg from his hometown of Rochester, Minnesota, this month, and it is apparent that he already made a huge impact on everyone he met.
Director of the first-year Honors play, Erica Huls, called the Honors Program Director Bob Groven in tears after she read the news.
“Jason had just been chosen to be my ‘Right Hand Tech Guy’ for the Honors play this fall,” she said in a memo to her colleagues last Thursday. “We already had a nick-name for him. He is the first student I actually spent one-on-one time with from this first-year class. We discussed why on earth anyone would want to run cross country—he mentioned that by the time he got to eight miles his mind usually shut off and everything was quiet and he could just run—and how he was getting along with his roommate. I handed him the master keys for the props/costumes closet and told him I would see him on Monday.”
Honors Professor Larry Crockett also had him in class these first few weeks of school. Crockett said that “he sat in the back row of Honors 120, initially rather quiet. But then he started making comments or answering questions and I was struck by his friendly demeanor and remember thinking, ‘this student has real promise.’”
In the same previously-mentioned memo, Huls said, “As I age I struggle with the ‘life’s not fair’ argument. He was too young. He was too gifted.”
The campus community gathered during Chapel time on Thursday, September 22 to remember Stevens, and the meaningful impressions he had already made upon those who were honored with the opportunity to meet him. Buses also brought Augsburg students and faculty to the visitation and funeral services in Rochester, MN.
Jason had already become an integral part of the Augsburg family, and his spirit will remain in all our hearts as we continue to grieve the loss of a student, teammate, and friend.