The University Remembers the Loss of Chris Mejia

Over $2,000 was Raised at the Heart of a Lion Walk on April 13

mejia-attendentsUniversity students and supporters walked to honor the loss of former student, Christopher Mejia at the Heart of a Lion walk on Sunday, April 13.

Mejia’s life was taken on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, when he attempted to cross the intersection of Monmouth Road and Route 36 and was hit by a vehicle at about 10:40 AM. Mejia, who was 23-years-old at the time, was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, NJ, where he died the following Monday, according to a article.

Christopher Mejia’s sister, Amanda Mejia, commented on the dedication that students expressed in creating the walk for her brother. “Chris was really into the fit life so the walk was a good idea,” said Amanda Mejia. “It’s really great to see a lot of people come out for my brother. It gives my mom support.”

Christopher Mejia was a brother of the Sigma Pi Fraternity and nine other Greek life organizations that attended to support him.

Jason Horowitz, a close friend and fraternity brother of Christopher Mejia sought to raise $25,000 to endow a scholarship in his honor.

“My idea, which I learned from my father and my family, is to create a memorial that will have a lasting impact,” said Horowitz. “I decided to create a self-funded, endowed scholarship…At $25,000 it lasts forever at the MU Leon Hess Business School.”

Cameron Nichols, an alum and a brother of Sigma Pi who had a close relationship with Christopher Meija, said that the scholarship is the start of something new to remember his legacy. “Now someone else will have the opportunity with this scholarship to strive and succeed like Chris wanted to,” said Nichols.

Amanda Romeo, a business major and supporter of the Heart of a Lion Walk, is part of an entrepreneurship class in the business school at the University. She is the Chief Operating Officer of her current class project, which is a restaurant book that features a two-page spread dedicated towards the scholarship in Christopher Mejia’s name. The book is called “NJ Restaurant Guide,” which features 40 restaurants in NJ as well as several recipes. According to Romeo, a large portion of the book’s profit will go to the Chris Mejia Endowed Scholarship.

Registration for the walk was $5 and Heart of a Lion T-shirts were for sale for $10. All proceeds will go toward the endowment of the Christopher Mejia Memorial Scholarship through the University. Twenty-five thousand dollars must be raised to endow the scholarship. “Before today, we only needed about $8,000 or $9,000 dollars. We’re getting closer,” said Kimberly Cummins, a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha.

Food was donated by the Bagel Guys Deli, Dunkin Donuts, and the Kappa Nu chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha and offered to walkers. Also a raffle was set up and included prizes such as a $100 gift card to Jack’s Goal Line Stand, a gift card to Rooney’s Crab House, and gift cards from several other establishments.

Cummins also had a huge part in the setup of the walk. “I just wanted to say thank you to our sponsors, everyone who donated, and everyone who came out and supported us today.” According to Cummins, over $2,000 was raised from the walk.

Horowitz plans on making the walk an annual event, although there is no confirmation.

PHOTO COURTSEY of Jason Horowitz