Many members of the West Chester University community came together to celebrate the life of freshman Jamie Herbert on Tuesday, April 19 on the front lawn of Allegheny Hall. Herbert passed away on Thursday, March 24.
Herbert was not only a resident in Allegheny Hall, she was also the secretary of Allegheny Hall’s Residence Hall Association (RHA). She was also a member of the WCU Concert Band and the West Chester University Golden Rams Marching Band, where she played flute.
Her memorial service began with a number performed by the marching band. Seated directly in front of the marching band were members of Jamie Herbert’s family. During their number, “Hey Baby,” a few members of the marching band danced over to Herbert’s family and put smiles on their faces through the cheery tune.
Members of Allegheny Hall’s RHA presented Herbert’s family with a banner full of hand-written memories from all of Herbert’s friends.
The Allegheny Hall community presented a tree in Herbert’s memory after a few more numbers by the marching band. One by one, Herbert’s family members were invited to grab a shovel and help plant the tree by tossing soil. Once her parents began, other members of her family continued.
“If the roles were reversed and it was me, she would be at my ceremony. We’re a RHA family.”
Once Herbert’s family finished, resident assistants from Allegheny were invited to do so as well, followed by members of Allegheny’s RHA. Allegheny Hall also presented a memorial sign from the university to stick in front of the tree.
The sign read, “Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us everyday. Forever in our hearts, Jamie Herbert, 1997-2016.”
Shortly after, many people, including her family and friends, were given purple balloons to release into the sky.
“If anyone’s worried about the environment, because Jamie cared about the environment, these balloons are biodegradable and the string is biodegradable as well,” said Justin Brown, resident director of Allegheny Hall. On the count of three, the balloons were released into the air.
The marching band played “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon before a handful of the members repositioned at Herbert’s memorial tree.
They circled around the tree, sat their respective instruments down and sang the Kappa Kappa Psi Hymn.
Kappa Kappa Psi is a fraternity that serves university band programs, and Herbert was in the process of becoming a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi.
After the service, those who knew Jamie Herbert were invited to put memories inside of a memory jar. The jar was later given to her family.
Allegheny Hall also served refreshments, including Disney-themed cupcakes, as Herbert was an avid lover of Disney. Blaring through the speakers was Beyoncé, one of Herbert’s favorite artists.
“The ceremony was very nice, and I didn’t know Jamie but I’m assuming she was very nice,” said Sophia Pazmino, a sophomore and president of Goshen Hall’s RHA. “If the roles were reversed and it was me, she would be at my ceremony. We’re a RHA family.”
Brown addressed what Herbert would have wanted.
“Jamie wouldn’t want us to be sad, would she?” Brown addressed the crowd. “She would want us to celebrate life.”
Sunny Morgan is a first-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at SM848270@wcupa.edu.