Candlelight vigil celebrates life of Z’ane Davis-Smith

Mourners gather outside Kay Spiritual Life Center in remembrance on Nov. 5

Candlelight vigil celebrates life of Z’ane Davis-Smith

Approximately 100 people gathered Saturday night outside of Kay Spiritual Life Center for a candlelight vigil in celebration of the life of sophomore Z’ane Davis-Smith.

University Chaplain Rev. Mark Schaefer led the vigil by opening up with a prayer and offering words of hope for gatherers. He told the crowd that he hoped this vigil would serve as a celebration of Davis-Smith’s life, and create a space for people to gather in her memory.

Friends expressed Davis-Smith’s love for the musical “Hamilton” on Facebook, so the song “It’s Quiet Uptown” was played during the lighting of the candles. The song depicts the mourning of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton’s son, and their “unimaginable” time of grieving.

Davis-Smith died late in the evening of Nov. 3. She was a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and came to AU from Cheltenham, Maryland. Davis-Smith was a performing arts major and an active member of the University’s theatre program. She most recently performed in its production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” She was also a member of the 2015 STEP program with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Resources are available to students on-campus, including the Counseling Center’s walk-in hours from 2-4 p.m. and walk-in hours at the Office of the Dean of Students. Faculty and staff can also contact the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program at 202-885-2593. Student Government and the Resident Hall Association co-sponsored movie nights on Friday and Saturday to give students a positive healing space.

Details for a memorial service for Davis-Smith have not been finalized but will be organized by the Kay Spiritual Life Center.

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