The Daily Gamecock

Commencement issue: Candlelight vigil for professor held on Horseshoe

“Here’s a health, Carolina,” the crowd sang as they raised their candles. “Forever to thee.”

Hundreds gathered at the Horseshoe Feb. 6, 2015, the day after professor Raja Fayad was shot and killed by his ex-wife, Sunghee Kwon.

Students, faculty, friends and strangers came together at the Maxcy Monument to honor the victim of the Arnold School of Public Health shooting with a candlelight vigil. In the middle of the crowd, the atmosphere was somber and reflective.

“I and his colleagues in the Arnold School knew Professor Fayad to be an excellent teacher, a committed advisor and a very, very close and loving friend to his colleagues,” University President Harris Pastides said.

As an associate professor, graduate director and head of the applied physiology division, Fayad touched many lives during his time at USC.

Larry Durstine and James Carson, co-workers from the exercise science department, spoke of his character and commitment to his research, teaching and his students.

“They will say that as a mentor, Raj didn’t just go that mile, he didn’t just go the extra two miles — he went the extra five miles,” Durstine said. “When he gave you a paper to critique, he would show you how to critique it better.”

As Durstine spoke, he remembered Fayad’s positivity in his work and in his life.

“Raja was always looking for the good things,” he said. “In the long run, he made us all better people.”

Durstine and Carson were both close friends of Fayad.

“It’s really created a hole for us in the exercise science department,” Carson said. “He will be sorely missed."

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