Brannon Cahela, Staff Writer
Students gathered to mourn the loss of graduating senior Justin Tinker on Monday evening at the TMB auditorium. Tinker was struck by a vehicle on Highway 204 near campus on Tuesday, February 6.
Initiated by Active Minds Club President Paris Coleman, the Active Minds Club, ACE tutoring services and the SGA came together to plan a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Tinker. Among those in attendance were his family, friends and professors.
Tinker, a chemistry student, planned to attend graduate school at Auburn University. He shared his knowledge with other students as a tutor with ACE.
Tinker was very intelligent and had a great knack for music and art. He was a talented drawer and was able to pick up any instrument and be able to play it within minutes. To know him was to love him, family and friends said. He was very kind-hearted and generous to anyone he met, and had a great love for all animals.
“At JSU we are more than just college students, we are a community and we are a family,” said SGA Vice President of Student Activities Kasey Gamble. “JSU is a super close-knit school, and it is important for us to acknowledge when we lose a member of our family and help one another in any way we can.”
Among those who spoke at the candlelight vigil held for Tinker were: Active Minds Club President and 2017 Homecoming King Paris Coleman; Dr. Donna Perygin, Tinker’s research advisor; Quinton Thornton, personal friend and science education major; Dr. Laura Weinkauf, Tinker’s physics and astronomy professor; Dr. Nixon Mwebi, Tinker’s chemistry professor; Bro. Joey Hanner, Pastor at Union 3 Baptist Church of Gadsden, and Tinker’s younger brother Tristan.
Those that spoke had nothing but kind words to say about Tinker. He was beloved and respected by those who knew him. Those that shared their memories of Tinker at the vigil portrayed him as an incredibly intelligent, hard-working, humble and resilient young man who showed great love and kindness to those he came into contact with every day.
It is often difficult to understand the loss of someone so young and with such potential. Students seeking help during this time may call (256) 782-5475 to schedule a free important with the JSU Counseling Services.
Tinker was scheduled to graduate this spring, and his diploma will be presented to his family at the spring commencement ceremony.
Those in attendance asked Justin Tinker and his family be kept in the thoughts and prayers of the JSU community.