Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Mike Maybroda left us. Many of us can still remember the day when the tragic news of Mike’s untimely death due to a car accident pierced our hearts. His one year anniversary will be marked this Thursday, April 6. WCU faculty, staff, students, families and friends will be gathering that night at 7 p.m. in one of the Sykes Ballrooms to remember Mike. An interesting truth I have come to realize is that Mike, even in his own death, seems to be alive and well, through all of those he touched. The “spirit” of Mike Maybroda is strong in all of us. You don’t need to look too far to find it. There is no student leader from last year who doesn’t know of Mike Maybroda. After all, he was a fellow student leader on this campus, involved in many groups. He was a Resident Assistant (RA) for Goshen Hall and the Village apartments, the Chair of WCU’s Homecoming Committee and a leader on WCU-TV, WCUR, a member of the Friars’ Society and the new, up-and-coming Man-Up club. His dedication didn’t stop at WCU either. Mike also served as a bouncer at Kildare’s, an intern for the MTV show “Viva la Bam” and at the United Sports Training Center in Downingtown. Truly, he lived a “full life.”

Yet in this full life, Mike made it genuine and original. When he started out as an RA in Goshen Hall, at his first floor meeting of the year, he managed to cram all of his residents into his own room, telling them it was the most uncomfortable they would ever be and that they should get to know each other. He could even turn around the most depressing of situations by donning on those sunglasses, smiling ear to ear, and saying his trademark quote, “Play on, playa.” A man of creativity and innovation, thinking “outside of the box” seemed to be a skill Mike mastered.

“Mikey May” also established a legacy of a being dedicated member of his community. As an active brother in the Friars’ Society, one of WCU’s leading community service-based organizations, Mike could always be found helping in a community fundraiser, like Habitat for Humanity, or Camp Dreamcatcher. Who can ever forget that “lovable big guy” out in the streets of West Chester, telling drivers who dropped money in his bucket, “Thank you. It’s all about the kids!” This legacy has become a full circle. How fitting it is that now the community is supporting him, as the Chester County Community Foundation (www.chescocf.org) is supporting the Michael G. Maybroda Memorial Fund.

So, when you look at the world the way it is today, it goes without saying that Mike Maybroda will never be forgotten. In fact, I’ll always believe that Mike achieved what so many have sought after: eternal life. The love he had in his heart for the people and communities he cared about still lives on, shining brightly to this day. Inside all the lives he touched, carries on a “playa” named Mike Maybroda, who loved life so much, that it loved him back and evidentially, still does to this very day.

Rest easy, bro, and “play on, playa.” We will too.

Anthony Maalouf is a Senior Political Science major at WCU with a minor in Spanish.

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