Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, February 20, 2019

SOC senior and Sigma Chi brother dies in motorcycle accident

Correction appended.

Update, June 30 at 4:18 p.m.:

A wake will be held on Wednesday, July 1 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Macken Mortuary, in Rockville Centre.

Original story:

Mark Bevilacqua, a rising senior in the School of Communications and Sigma Chi brother, died in a motorcycle accident on Saturday, June 27, on Long Island, according to a close friend.

Bob Walsh, president of Sigma Chi and a close friend of Bevilacqua’s, confirmed the death and said he will remember his friend and brother as generous and caring and a central component of Sigma Chi.

“Him joining Sigma Chi was the best thing to happen to all of us,” Walsh said. “As soon as he joined, nobody could ever imagine the fraternity without him.”

Bevilacqua joined Sigma Chi in the second semester of his sophomore year. He was originally opposed to greek life but Walsh convinced him to join after Bevilacqua met some of the brothers. At the time, Bevilacqua was not involved on campus and was considering dropping out to become a mechanic or work for his dad’s company, according to Walsh.

The fraternity gave Bevilacqua a home on campus, Walsh said, and the brothers also felt that they needed him. Bevilacqua was elected to be custos, the ritual director, in the Fall, according to Walsh.

Walsh described Bevilacqua as an excellent listener and selfless friend.

“He kept a lot of us afloat in our personal lives,” he said.

Walsh and Nathan Neal, the first chapter advisor of Sigma Chi at AU, will lead a white rose ceremony at Bevilacqua’s memorial service. The service will be held at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, New York on Thursday, July 2.

The white rose is Sigma Chi’s fraternity flower, and the roses will be placed on Bevilacqua’s grave every year on the anniversary of his death, according to Walsh.

The brothers are collecting money to pay for flowers and to donate to the family. They hope to create a scholarship in Bevilacqua’s name to support students with undecided majors.

Bevilacqua died doing what he loved most, Walsh said.

“He had two favorite things, and they were smoking cigarettes and riding motorcycles,” Walsh said. “Of course he was too young, but if there was a way Mark was gonna go out it was going to be on his bike.”

Bevilacqua’s selflessness and generosity has made an impression on all who knew him, according to Walsh.

“We all need to try and live our lives up to his standards,” he said.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Rockville Centre.

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