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Sad News to Share: Austin Lopes ’23

Dear members of the Emerson community:

The College has some sad news to share about a member of our community. Austin Lopes `23 lost his battle with cancer late last week, surrounded by members of his family.

Austin, who entered the college in the fall of 2019 as a VMA major, was very proud of his work while at Emerson and wanted nothing more than to receive his degree from the College. Knowing this, the College was able to present him with an honorary degree in front of his parents last week before his passing.

Austin grew up in Lakeville, Massachusetts, with his parents Augustus (Gus) and Aquila (Connie) and older brother Alex, a senior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Austin was dedicated to making films, and one day hoped to win an Oscar for his work, which his close circle of friends have now pledged to do in his honor. 

You can view a short film he made for a Spring 2020 class here, in which shares his response to the first cancer diagnosis when he was in high school.  Other videos are also viewable on his YouTube channel.

The College will hold a memorial service to celebrate Austin’s life this fall, when our community has regathered for the new academic year. In the meantime, we know that it can be hard to grieve this loss in these summer days, when we are far from one another.

The Center for Spiritual Life will hold a virtual vigil this Monday, May 17, at 4:00 pm EST, as a place to begin sharing memories and supporting one another. The Zoom link and more details can be found on EmConnect. If you wish to honor Austin, his family has suggested gifts may be made in his memory to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via www.jimmyfund.org/gift

The College mourns this loss and the bright light that Austin cast on campus. We will miss him greatly. Support for members of our community is available from Emerson Counseling and Psychological services, 617-824-8595, and by contacting Julie Avis Rogers at julie_avisrogers@emerson.edu.

Sincerely,
President Lee Pelton
Jim Hoppe, Vice President & Dean for Campus Life

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