Approximately 100 members of the students, faculty, and staff at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg gathered in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center Wednesday evening (March 17) to celebrate the life of Matthew Tembo. Tembo, age 22, died accidentally on Sunday, March 7, while visiting Carnegie Mellon University.
Tembo, originally from Eastern France, had transferred to Pitt-Greensburg in Fall 2009 and was majoring in management. Prior to attending Pitt-Greensburg, he had been enrolled at Webster University (St. Louis) and Carnegie Mellon University.
The memorial service was planned by Pitt-Greensburg students and included music, a photo montage, and personal remembrances as tributes to their friend and classmate.
Dr. Sharon Smith, president of Pitt-Greensburg, opened the memorial service by reminding those attending to see this as a time of comfort and healing. She noted that Tembo was described as a natural leader, a diplomat, and an exceptional student whose perception showed through his writing, questions, and comments.
Students used music from Jason Mraz, one of Tembo’s favorite artists, writings from Khalil Gibran, and familiar prayers to express their feelings about the loss of their friend. They described him as a strong, confident young man, persuasive, outgoing, and charismatic.
Rick Fogle, dean of Student Services, noted, “We worry about what we can do to prevent such a tragedy. No life should be lost in this way. . . . We can learn from Matt. May his life be the impetus to help each of you to fulfill the promise of your lives.”
Students, faculty, and staff gathered Wednesday evening in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center to celebrate the life of Matthew Tembo.