By Don Granese
He was a student, a tutor and a friend. Jordan West, of the class of 2014, and his infectious personality could make anyone around him happy.
Smith Jackson sent out an email to faculty, staff and students this morning explaining that West died at Alamance Regional Medical Center after being rushed there, following a 911 call his roommates made around 3 a.m.
“He was probably the most-liked person in the class,” said his college writing professor Julie Overman. “He was articulate. He was so intelligent, but he was approachable and he was funny. He was the kind of person that you would run into around campus and he would make your day better.”
Outside of the classroom, West was pouring his time into extracurricular programs like America Reads and the S.M.A.R.T. mentoring program. He had his own students from the area that he advised and helped to bring up their grades.
“What most people don’t know is that he took time out of his week every week to work with students who were at risk of failing,” said Gayla Carr, the Elon senior who hired West for the job at Read America. “Those kids loved him. He really made a difference in their lives.”
Not only did West make a difference in the lives of complete strangers, but his personality gave him the ability to make everyone he met feel like they had a friend in him.
Savannah Chaisson, one of his friends, lived with West in Hook residence hall last year. She didn’t get to see him much this year, but when she did, he knew how to make her happy.
“If he was driving past me in the car he would open the window and he would hang out of it and say hello,” Chaisson said. “He was just one of those guys. He couldn’t not brighten your day.”
Many of West’s friends gathered in the Moseley building today to talk about the favorite memories of their friend. While not everyone at Elon had the chance to befriend West, his absence will be apparent on campus; when there’s one less happy senior walking across the stage in 2014 or when there’s one less smiling face in the classroom.
A gathering of friends is scheduled for this Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Moseley 215. Counseling services can be reached at 336-278-7280 and the Truitt Center at 336-278-7729.