By Taylor Bynion
The NDMU campus community suffered the tragic loss of student, friend, peer, and classmate, nursing major Amayah Charles. Charles, known for her tremendous personality and infectious smile, tragically passed away in a car accident.
Members of the community gathered together on Tuesday, October 15, to honor Charles’s life in a campus wide mass held in Merikle Chapel. While filled with grief over Charles passing, faculty, staff, students, and friends gathered together to support and back one another during this time of mourning.
A visiting priest to NDM delivered the service, offering words of advice and comfort to the community. “We are gathered together as a community to weep,” he said.
Throughout his homily, he spoke of Charles’s dedication to dance, her role as a nursing student, and how, in this time of questioning and uncertainty, the community turns to God.
As Charles was a former graduate of Mercy High School, class of ‘18, three representatives from the high school also attended the mass. One representative read at the mass, offering thoughts of sorrow and condolences to Charles’s friends and family.
Sophomore nursing major, Margaret Doll, knew Charles from NDMU classes. “Amayah was such a kind-hearted person who always cared about how you were doing and was beyond generous in all aspects of her life,” Doll said. “She will be greatly missed among her friends, family, and the nursing students, but there is a place for her in God’s house which is where she is now, I am sure of it.”
The grievous news was conveyed to the community in an email sent by the Office of the President on Monday, October, 14. In the email, President Mary Lou Yam expressed her sadness and sorrow at the news. “It is with great sorrow that I am passing on the tragic news that a member of our Notre Dame of Maryland University Community, passed away today,” Yam wrote. “We know you join us in conveying the deepest sorrow and most sincere condolences of the entire NDMU Community to Amayah’s family.”
The email also informed students that supports are available on campus to aid any grieving individual. NDMU chaplain, Father John McCloskey, as well as campus minister, Sister Mary Kerber, and members of the counseling center were available the day of the tragedy for any students who needed help processing the news.
These community members, as well as several faculty members, continue to offer support to students who need a listening ear.
On Thursday, October 17, the School of Nursing and Office of Mission and Ministry held a vigil to honor Charles. During the services, students were invited to share words about Charles and her life.
Charles’s parents, grandparents, and other close friends also attended this vigil to join the campus community in reflecting on Charles life.
In order to show their solidarity for the situation, campus community members also dressed in pink on Wednesday, October 23, to honor Charles’s memory. During the same day, members of CAB distributed white ribbons for students, faculty, and staff to wear.
Ending Charles’s service by singing Amazing Grace, students and faculty alike exchanged tearful hugs, mourning the loss of the campus community’s fallen gator. The community gathers together in this time of need, as Amayah Charles will be greatly missed.