University Mourns the Loss of Nicole Surace

Nicole Elizabeth Surace, freshman, died in a car crash in East Brunswick, NJ when her boyfriend’s car hit a telephone pole on Saturday, Nov. 30 at approximately 7:50 pm.

President Paul R. Brown said in an email to the campus community said, “The University regrets the untimely death of a member of our community and extends its deep sympathies to her family and friends at this most difficult time. The loss of such a young person is truly tragic.”

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services said in an email to the University that the wake will be on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Bronson & Guthlein Funeral Home in Milltown, NJ. Her funeral will be held at St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church in East Brunswick, NJ on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 11 am. Nagy’s email also reads that memorial contributions to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Surace’s honor would be appreciated. “University flags will remain lowered for the next several days in honor of Nicole,” the email reads.

Amanda Friedman, a senior communication major knew Surace for the past six years through All Star cheerleading. “We shared a bond that is best put as sisterly. Everyone we know both mutually and on our own know of our connection and know of how deeply we love each other. I honestly can’t even bring myself to say what happened to her, but since the accident, a part of me is no longer here. She wasn’t just a teammate, or a close friend; she is my sister in every sense of the word,” said Friendman.

Friedman also spoke about Surace’s personality. “Anyone who has the privilege of knowing her knows just how truly special she is. She is absolutely the most genuine, happy, spunky little nugget in the world. I’m not too sure how I’m going to make it without her, but I know she’d yell at me if I didn’t try my hardest,” said Friedman.

Alyssa Rodriguez, senior, was friends with Surace as well. “She impacted the lives of so many people and her smile could light up a room,” she said.

Surace’s boyfriend, Jeffrey Szatkowski, 17, was driving a 2004 Ford Mustang on Dutch Road in East Brunswick, NJ with Surace in the passenger seat, according to The Star Ledger. The car ran off the road and hit a telephone pole, then flipped and struck a tree and finally landed on its roof, said East Brunswick Police Lieutenant Kevin Zebro in a story in The Star Ledger. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The two high school sweethearts passed away from their injuries after being taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, according to The Star Ledger.

Surace had been dating Szatkowski since last year, according to The Star Ledger. In Szatkowski’s obituary on, Surace is referred to as “the love of his life.”

“Two lives lost too early,” said Nagy. She spoke to Surace’s family the night after the accident to express her condolences along with condolences from the University. “We are here to help but be respectful as well,” she said.

Brown said that it is most important to think of Surace’s family during this time. “Losing anybody in your family is so hard but losing a young adult is just [so] sad,” he said.

Kelly Parks, a sophomore business administration major, knew Surace from attending the same high school, Spotswood High School. “Nicole’s heart was filled with nothing but kindness and a love for her closest friends and family,” she said. “She was a girl with the tiniest thumbs but a heart bigger than the universe. Looking through old pictures, you cannot really comprehend just how we lost such an incredible and beautiful person.”

Before going to the same high school, Parks knew Surace through a mutual friend. “I speak on behalf of my best friend Kristin, a part of one of [Surace’s] closest groups of friends, Jordan, Paige, Samantha, Micaela and Erin and Nicole’s best friends Amanda, Deanna Brianna, Kelsi and her roommate Shannon, that Nicole and her soul mate Jeff left this world together only to become the angels that guide us through life,” she said. “I ask everyone to please hold their families and loved ones close to their hearts.”

Surace was majoring in management and decision sciences and was a resident of Pinewood Hall. She was also a member of the University’s Community Service Club.

PHOTO TAKEN from Nicole Surace’s Facebook