Franklin & Marshall College will hold a Service of Remembrance for Eric H. Phillips '15 at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Ann & Richard Barshinger Center for Musical Arts. The service is intended for members of the F&M campus community and Phillips' family and friends to honor his memory, and is not open to the public.
Phillips, 20, collapsed while with friends in the common area of his College House early in the morning of Feb. 10. He was transported to the hospital but could not be revived. There was no immediate evidence of the cause of his death, and it remains unknown.
In an email to the College community Sunday, Dean of the College Kent Trachte encouraged F&M's faculty, students and staff to support each other during this time of loss.
"I know I speak for our entire community when I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Eric's family, friends and classmates," Trachte said. "Whenever we are faced with an untimely loss such as this, we find strength and comfort in each other and extend our support to those whose grief is greatest."
The College will celebrate Eric's life through music, poetry and reflections involving students, faculty and staff throughout the service. Phillips came to F&M from Oakland, Calif., and was an active member of the College community, participating in Ware College House and the 1 in 4 male student organization that educates others about sexual violence. Representatives from these groups will be among those who will offer reflections during the remembrance portion of the service. In addition, DJs from the College's radio station, WFNM, will prepare a special musical tribute.
Choral Conductor William Wright in the Department of Music will coordinate music that will be presented by students at the opening of the service, in addition to playing musical selections. F&M President Daniel R. Porterfield will give remarks.
"I have been both saddened and uplifted to hear and read the reflections of some of Eric's friends and professors," Porterfield said in a message to the community. "His distinct spirit and personality have made an enduring impact for good on so many people. In the coming days, weeks and months, any one of us may experience feelings of loss in different ways and at different times. That is why it is so important for us, as a community, to support one another continuously in kindness and consolation."
In lieu of flowers, Phillips' family has requested that donations be made to the Epilepsy Foundation at www.epilepsyfoundation.org or Rebuilding Together Oakland at www.rtoakland.org by noting "Eric Phillips" in the dedication field of the organizations' online donation forms.
The College continues to make counselors available through Counseling Services in Appel Health Services. Members of the campus community may reach Counseling Services at 717-291-4083.