Candlelight Vigil at Old Main Honors the Bright Life of Tally Sepot

Photo by Vivian Lin

Last night, hundreds of students arrived at Old Main’s lawn to celebrate the life of sophomore Vitalya “Tally” Sepot and to support the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega.

On Sunday, September 27, five sisters of Alpha Chi Omega and two brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon were traveling home from a THON canning trip when they got into an accident, which resulted in the loss of Sepot’s life and the injury of six others.

The walls of Old Main were lined with flowers, sent to the sorority as gifts of support during this difficult time.

The first to speak was junior Samantha Bentrim, who orchestrated the event. She thanked the university for it’s “open arms” and support of this event being held, as well as all the organizations and individuals who have sent flowers, cards, food and support during this time.

“She is looking down on us smiling,” said Bentrim of Sepot.

After Bentrim was finished speaking, a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” was sung by Penn State a cappella group Shades of Blue, followed by more speakers.

Nothing but kind words were shared by all who spoke, including Alpha Chi Omega’s current president Nikki Szczepaniak, Sepot’s “Big” Brooke Chung, “G-Big” Lizzy Merkouris, roommate Paige Mitsifer and best friend Miranda Vece.

Tally Sepot was described as a caring and selfless person with a smile, laugh and sense of style that could light up any room. Many called her a ray of light and “my sunshine”.

Stories about how Sepot would make sure pizza rolls were in the oven when her roommates got home and put blankets on them when they fell asleep on the couch were just a few examples spoken of Sepot’s selfless character.

Sepot’s grand-big, Lizzy Merkouris, said that Sepot stood out in her pledge class. She was eager to help out with anything and got involved in the sorority’s public relations team and THON right away.

Throughout the vigil, Shades of Blue filled the chilly air with renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, “You Are My Sunshine” and an additional performance of “Amazing Grace”, which closed out the vigil.

Apart from last night’s tribute, a lot is being done to help support the family and friends of Sepot. Alpha Chi Omega alumnae created a GoFundMe page shortly after learning of Sepot’s passing. The funds raised will be put toward a number of things to aid the family and sorority.

“The Alumni of Alpha Chi Omega are looking to raise our goal of $1,000 to gift our current members with our organizations national flower to wear to Tally’s services, provide a breakfast spread for the morning prior to departure, and donate additional funds the Sepot family to help cover any financial burden due to their loss or to their charity of choice,” reads the GoFundMe page.

In just two days, the page raised over $38,000.

For those who didn’t know Sepot, the wonderful words spoken of her only made one wish they had. The vigil also exemplified just how amazing the Penn State community is at coming together and supporting one another in times of need.

It was a beautiful tribute to the life of Tally Sepot and made us, as we’re sure it did many others, want to live a most-fulfilled life—to live like Tally.


The thoughts of the entire Valley Magazine staff are with the family, friends and sorority sisters of Tally Sepot at this time.