A campus mourns

By on September 21, 2005

Students, faculty and staff gathered in the Burt Kahn Gymnasium to mourn the loss of 20-year-old Ricardo Petrillo on Sunday evening.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, the Hamden police responded to a call from campus security. Hamden fire rescue arrived slightly before the police and found Petrillo laying motionless behind his dorm, Hill 63B.

Police said Petrillo fell from his third floor balcony and was treated for serious head trauma at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Petrillo was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time after his arrival.

Petrillo, from Westport, Conn., was a sophomore political science major and an active member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He described himself on theFacebook.com as someone who loved being active, playing sports, and enjoying life.

He enjoyed a variety of music as both a singer and writer, and called himself “a pretty good chef.”

At the service, faculty and staff filled the bleachers and lined the walls to show their respects.

The gymnasium was quiet despite the large crowd. Many attendees wore somber expressions and tears fell as they listened to the service. Past and present TKE brothers carried red carnations in memory of their lost brother and took part in various aspects of the service. Petrillo’s impact on Quinnipiac was evident by the size of the crowd.

Father Jonathan Kalisch prayed for Petrillo and those he left behind. He asked that Petrillo’s friends not be angry but rather know that he “had learned all he could on this Earth” and moved to a new stage of life.

Two TKE members gave the readings, six others brought up the sacrificial gifts for communion and another read a memorial at the service’s conclusion.

After the ceremony, candles were lit in Petrillo’s memory and TKE members showed a slide show to share his personality with the service attendees. Petrillo’s fraternity brothers held a more intimate memorial later that evening behind Hill; it featured photos, candles and Petrillo’s TKE paraphernalia.

The wake will be held Wednesday, Sept. 22 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Westport and transportation will be provided for anyone who needs it.

Counseling Services encourages those affected by this tragedy to visit their offices on Bobcat Alley or call them at extension 8680.


About Bethany Dionne