Wheeling Jesuit University Community Mourns Student Killed Near Campus

WHEELING—Sunday Masses in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University were offered for WJU student Kevin Michael Figaniak, who died early Sept. 1 after being attacked on his way back to campus.

“Today is a difficult day for our campus as we mourn the loss of a member of the Wheeling Jesuit family,” said Father James Fleming, WJU president. “It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Kevin Michael Figaniak, WJU class of 2014, passed from this life quietly and peacefully surrounded by his family and friends.”

“Kevin spent the last three years at Wheeling Jesuit forging friendships and in his final hours, Kevin was surrounded by those friends and his family, who, through their love and prayers, brought Kevin home to Jesus. We ask you to please keep Kevin, his family and the entire Wheeling Jesuit community in your prayers,” Father Fleming added.

Figaniak was admitted to Wheeling Hospital early on the morning of Aug. 31 with severe head trauma and later transferred to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsbugh, where he died. “The medical staffs at both hospitals showed exceeding patience and professionalism in their care of Kevin,” Father Fleming said.

Two men were arrested Sept. 3 by Wheeling Police. Craig Tyler Peacock, 22, of Florida and Jarrett Mathis Chandler, 24, of Louisiana have been charged with murder, with bond set at $1 million apiece.

Figaniak, a senior business major, was a member of the WJU varsity lacrosse team and the university’s club hockey team. He was the son of Valerie and Tom Figaniak of Perkasie, Pa.

The university held a prayer service on the  evening of Aug. 31 for students. Staff members from residence life, campus ministry, the counseling office and the athletic department are talking with students, providing them with counsel and support.

“Our main concern at this time is for Kevin’s family and our students,” Father Fleming added. At the request of the family, The Kevin Figaniak Memorial Fund has been established at the university.

Anyone wishing to make a gift in Figaniak’s memory, may contact Noah Mull, Wheeling Jesuit University, 316 Washington Ave., Wheeling, WV 26003, by e-mail to nmull@wju.edu or by calling  (304) 243-8148.