The sidewalk in front of Cromwell Hall was packed Monday night as students gathered in remembrance of their friend, Brittany Brouillard, who had lived in the building for only two and a half weeks. The freshman chemistry major passed away that morning. As of presstime Sept. 12, the cause had not been determined.
Brouillard, who graduated in June from Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, managed to touch many lives in her short term at the College.
“Brittany had a deep sense of this community,” Beth Paul, interim vice president for Student Life, said at the memorial. “We’re here to give support to one another.”
After a moment of silence, friends of Brouillard shared their memories of her. “Don’t cry for Brittany, Brittany was a happy person,” Alaine Boccafola, freshman business major and Brouillard’s suitemate, said.
“We only knew her for two weeks, and already we both loved her,” another suitemate, Michelle Mooney, freshman math major, said.
Jim Gant, freshman special education and history major, said he woke up on his birthday to find a sign on his door, signed by Brittany. “That simple ‘I love you’ – I never got the chance to say, ‘Brittany, I love you too,'” Gant said.
“She was the first person to come up to me and shake my hand and say, ‘Hello, I’m Brittany,'” Scott Osborne, a College Ambassador assigned to Brouillard’s floor, said, noting that usually he is the one to welcome the newcomers, not the other way around.
The group lit candles as many students sang “Amazing Grace.” Many then paid their respects to Brouillard by kneeling and placing candles in front of a display of pictures.
An hour later, people were still gathered by the candlelight in tribute to the effect Brouillard had on the campus. “She always had a smile on her face no matter what was happening,” Osborne said.
Boccafola agreed. “‘She was always smiling’ is such a cheap thing to say,” she said, “but it was true for Brittany.”