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Luminaries Brighten the Memory of Atul Vyas

September 23, 2008

by Kyle Ragins

For those of you who missed it, on Saturday night, luminaries were sold in memory of Atul Vyas, the CMC Senior who died the week before in the Metrolink train crash. The idea to raise money for Uncommon Good, originally conceived of by Alex Caldwell '09, turned out to be a great success. Uncommon Good is a non-profit organization that mentors disadvantaged children on their path to college. Atul was a mentor for the organization and would be happy to know that even in death he was helping the cause, as the luminaries raised just over $340. The luminaries also provided a valuable opportunity for CMC students to take a second and reflect over the death of Atul--as many were not able to attend the off-campus memorial service. Not only did the luminaries set up around the fountain provide a beautiful testamet to Atul, but they also had memories of Atul written on them, providing a cathartic experience for those who participated.

While Atul was not one of my best friends at CMC, I certainly knew him, and his loss has affected me deeply. I must say that Atul was probably the smartest person I ever met--and I am not just saying that because he is no longer with us, I said that when he was alive as well. Atul's loss is not just a loss for CMC or his friends and family, but truly a loss for the world. A special thanks to those who helped organize the various events of remembrance for Atul; only by working together can we all find closure in this difficult time for the Claremont community.

Special Note: Please take a moment to remember Pitzer student Luke Rogers that died this past week as well, his memorial service is schedule for 7 PM tomorrow at Pitzer College.

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