Sig Eps remember brother at vigil

WKU students gather for a candle light vigil outside of McCormack Hall for Cory Beavin Saturday, September 28, 2013. 

Jackson French

On Saturday night, members of Sigma Phi Epsilon gathered in the Valley to mourn the passing of one of their pledge brothers.

Fordsville freshman and Sig Ep pledge Cory Beavin died Friday night, Sept. 27 in a car accident in his hometown.

Fraternity members and other friends of Beavin assembled at an intersection of sidewalks in front of McCormack, many of them holding lit candlesticks.

Ashland freshman Caitlin Brown, one of Beavin’s friends, spoke to the crowd, inviting members of Sig Ep to speak about Beavin and share their favorite memories of him they had.

Brown said little is known yet about the circumstances of Beavin’s death.

“We don’t know many details,” Brown said. “We don’t know if he was with friends or if he was the one driving. We don’t know if he was under the influence of any sort.”

During the vigil, a radio placed on a bench played music from the 2012 movie adaptation of Les Miserables.

Brown said the use of the movie’s soundtrack had two meanings.

“He loved that movie and he loved France,” she said. “He was obsessed with it.”

She said the soundtrack was also played because of a particular memory it brings to her mind.

“One of the last memories that me and three other friends of his had together is, we were in his car blasting music from Les Mis and one of our friends hated it and we were all just singing to him,” she said. “It was just one of the last memories we had together.”

During the vigil, the mourners walked around McCormack and after they returned to the area in front of the building, Andrew Cusick, a 2011 WKU graduate and former Sig Ep member, led the fraternity members in singing Alabama’s ‘Dixieland Delight’, which he said is their fraternal song.

When the singing was over, the mourners were invited to write messages on a posterboard that will be displayed at the funeral or on notecards that were then affixed to a small crucifix.

Brown said information about the funeral will be made available as soon as possible.

Louisville freshman and one of Beavin’s pledge brothers, Nick Vaetens, said he got to know Cory during their time in Sig Ep.

He said he thinks Beavin’s death has brought the fraternity closer together.

“We’re showing respect and love to a brother,” he said. “Not everybody in the house, not all the alumni knew him but we all come together. We take care of our own.”

Brown said Beavin’s death has been difficult for her and for Sig Ep. “We’re taking this very hard right now,” Brown said. “We’re all very solemn and very depressed but we’ve all stayed together today to just be there for each other.”

She said it was difficult to lose Beavin because “his life just began, his adult life in college. He didn’t even get to live not even a year of it.”

“We were all going to go out when he got back and, you know, be together and now we’re just here for each other instead of with him,” she said.