The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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In Memoriam: Christian Samay ’24

In Memoriam: Christian Samay ’24

This past weekend, the Bucknell community suffered the loss of a classmate, friend, peer and brother Christian Samay ’24, who passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, March 30. 

Originally from Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, Samay began his first year at Bucknell in Fall 2020. He was expected to graduate in May with a major in Political Science and minor in Legal Studies. Having spent his past three summers working various Investment Banking Internships, past professors have described him as a “curious” and “engaged” student. 

In a “Message of Support” to Political Science majors, Professor Micheal James, Chair of the Department shared, “The passing of Christian Samay on Saturday touches all Bucknellians…I myself had the honor of teaching Christian in a course last year, and like many of my department colleagues I appreciated his intellectual curiosity and energy.”

Outside of the academic setting, Samay was a member and brother of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity. Within FIJI, he was elected to serve as the Treasurer during his junior year. Among his brothers in the fraternity and peers in the greater Greek Life community, he touched the hearts of many and is described as a loving and charismatic friend. 

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“Samay was the funniest kid I have ever met. He was able to make anyone smile,” shared close friend and FIJI brother Sebastian Paz ’24. 

Close with many students younger and in the grades below him, Will Ohler ’25 of FIJI shared, “Samay was a stud. He was a role model to us all. If we could live a little more like Christian, the world would be a much better place. Fly high brother.” 

The Greek Life and Bucknell community as a whole came together to show support placing flowers outside of the fraternity chapter house. On Tuesday, students gathered in Rooke Chapel for a Vigil in loving memory of Samay. Kurt Nelson, Director of Religious and Spiritual life on campus, helped to guide the vigil as students close to Samay shared stories and memories. 

FIJI members Blake Martin ’24, Chase Caffery ’24, Matt Owusu ’24, MJ Kuczura ’24, Alexander Schenone ’26, Troy Langton ’24 and Sebastain Paz ’24 reflected on Samay’s life with stories that characterized him as a supportive friend, caring roommate, loving brother and cheerful soul. Greek Life members from the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority Chloe Burraway ’24, Ava Kite ’24 and Kristen Benedict ’24 shared stories of their forever friendship with Samay and spending Friday with him.

Burraway shared the lyrics of “Following the Sun,” a song she shared with Samay Friday morning. From the song she read, “If you’re looking for me baby, You know you can find me, Following the sun.” After hearing the song, Samay made clear his love for it, asking her to play it on repeat. Paz and Burraway knowing these lyrics and his quick fondness for the song highlighted this in their speeches, emphasizing that they now know their friend is both following the sun and shining down on them. 

Throughout the week, support also came from alumni and students of the junior class abroad. Many were able to attend the vigil virtually through Zoom. 

Abroad for this semester, Mason Conto ’25 who was Samay’s “son” in FIJI described his “pop” as a positive influence and prominent figure in his Bucknell experience. 

“He had an impact on everyone who knew him, and for those who were close to him, he made an impact that will be forever hard to live without,” Conto shared. “He was always so good to me and I only wish I could’ve spent these last couple months with him.” 

Across different countries, fellow FIJI juniors abroad continued throughout the week to share memories they held of Samay.

“Christian was one of my role models. He cared about everyone and always went out of his way to help his friends. I knew every time I saw Christian my day would get better,” said Hayden Puff  ’25.

“Christian was one of the most charismatic and genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing,” Reed Signer ’25 said. “Every room he walked into, people were drawn to him with his infectious laugh, great sense of humor and unwavering kindness. He left a positive impact on everyone he ran into making him a truly unforgettable human being. He will be deeply missed.”

The FIJI brothers and President Evan Aycock ’25 have organized a GoFundMe in Samay’s honor. Donations are being collected for funeral costs, memorials in and out of the Phi Gamma Delta Chapter House and events they will hold in his honor. At the request of the Samay family the remaining donations collected will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. To donate, visit here

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Juliana Rodrigues
Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Editor

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  • C

    C.WellsApr 5, 2024 at 7:14 pm

    There is a pall over the entire Lewisburg community right now. Waiting for the sun to come out and wishing the Samay family peace, love, and ever present memories.

    Reply