On Wednesday night, members of Phi Kappa Sigma and others gathered around The Rock on Farm Lane to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of Jeremy Swiatek, a 2018 MSU graduate who died this past weekend in Illinois.
The top layer of paint on The Rock read "Jeremy Swiatek 1996-2019 Class of 2018" in blue, followed by "bear down" in orange.
Swiatek was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma and was initiated in fall 2014. He held multiple positions within the fraternity, including vice president and recruitment chairman.
He had a knack for being able to bring people into the house and make them feel comfortable and want to join and want to be a part of the organization," said John Miyares, Phi Kappa Sigma's MSU chapter adviser. "In fact, I would say that probably half the chapter, half the members of the chapter that would not be there if it were not for Jeremy.”
Recounting stories of nights out and his Chicago pride, the group shared their fond memories of the 23-year-old.
"To see that he has been able to touch so many lives, and that people have some great stories and great memories of Jeremy and his time here is just — it helps to reaffirm what how much I knew about him, as far as the kind of person he could be."
The fraternity made a banner in Swiatek's honor, which was available for attendees to sign. The banner will be hung at the house for the remainder of the week, and then delivered to his family in Illinois over the upcoming weekend.
"Anytime there's something going up on The Rock, it's meaningful to the greater MSU community," Miyares said. "To have Jeremy’s remembrances put up here is going be great."