Nidhi Gotgi
Managing Editor
Jennifer Chi
Mercury Staff

Family, friends, faculty gather on April 7 to commemorate the loss of eight students who passed away this academic year.

Correction: In a previous version of this story, the number of students who passed away was incorrectly stated. The Mercury regrets this error.

Eight students who passed away this academic year were commemorated at the annual Comets Remember memorial service.

Family members, friends and faculty attended the event on April 7 in the Student Union Galaxy Rooms to offer condolences and share fond memories of the loved ones they lost.

Scott Wuensch’s father, Michael Wuensch, reflected on the talents of his son, who died in a hiking accident in Washington state a week before the academic year started.

“I think everyone is given gifts and abilities, but not everybody cultivates those gifts and abilities,” he said. “Scott did that across the board. He excelled in music and he composed music.”

Michael Wuensch said his son enjoyed swing dancing and played the piano, among other instruments.

In addition to the arts, Scott Wuensch was also invested in studying math and science. Wuensch said he wanted to pursue a career that involved music and technology.

“He was on the launchpad,” Michael Wuensch said. “Scott was a planner. I’ve described him as somebody that evaluates, plans and executes. When Scott says it’s done, it’s done.”

The Wuensch family is working to set up an endowment to award scholarships for students in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Meanwhile, Michael Wuensch said Mark Spong, the dean of the school of engineering, has set aside $2500 for a scholarship called the “Scott Wuensch Memorial Scholarship” for the upcoming fall semester.

Student Government president Caitlynn Fortner comforted Wuensch and other families at the ceremony by reminding them their loved ones will not be forgotten.

“UTD is a community and a family,” she said. “When one person or family experiences a loss, we all do. Each student remembered here today has certainly left their mark on our campus and has made a significant impact on our lives. We are very lucky to have had them as part of our lives and their memories will always shine bright in our hearts.”