In the wake of the unexpected loss of Penn State freshman, Stephanie Inman, students gathered on Old Main Tuesday night for a candle light vigil to honor her and her family. Sorrowful faces were illuminated as students listened to the beautiful words shared by friends and family of Inman.
She was a sister to her three siblings, a daughter, and a friend to many. Although she was only a freshman, Stephanie was very involved in the Penn State community. She was a member of the OPPerations THON committee, Penn State Homecoming, the Pre-Dental Society and Wrestling Affiliate Club.
The vigil was opened with a Penn State a capella group’s beautiful rendition of “Sweet Disposition.”
Barbara Inman, Stephanie’s sister and a senior at Penn State, gave a heartfelt speech that honored her sister’s life. Barbara spoke with strength that many of us have trouble finding in times of loss. She recalled personal memories and shared how vibrant of a life Stephanie had in her short time.
“I love and miss Stephanie so much,” said Barbara. She recalled Stephanie’s favorite television shows including The Office and Parks and Recreation and shared the beauty and depth of her relationship with her sister.
The second family member to speak was Stephanie’s cousin and best friend, Chloe, who shared a poem in her memory.
After two of her family members spoke, one of Stephanie’s favorite songs, Beyoncé’s “I Was Here,” was played as a tribute.
At the end of the ceremony, Penn State students put their arms around each other for a rendition of the Alma Mater. As voices quieted, candles blew out and darkness fell upon the steps of Old Main. Although the light of the candles ceased, the spirit of Stephanie within the Penn State community will not. She is a Nittany lion gone too soon. Her family, friends and the Penn State community will continue to remember Stephanie and the impact she had in the lives of many during short life.
Her family asks that memorial contributions be made out to Penn State Dance Marathon, crediting THON OPPerations. Donations can also be made in honor of the Stephanie Inman Memorial Scholarship. Checks can be sent to Annville-Cleona High School, made out to Annville-Cleona School District, with the memo Stephanie Inman Memorial Scholarship, or online here.
Valley offers the Inman family our sincerest condolences during this tough time.