Pitzer community mourns recent student death

The entrance gates of Pitzer College during sunset.
On Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, the Pitzer community honored Jesse Lopez PZ ’24, who passed away the previous Friday. (Emma Jensen • The Student Life)

CW: Recent student death

Through altars and memorials, the Pitzer College and 5C community mourned the death of Jesse Lopez PZ ’24 over the past week.

On Oct. 27, Pitzer College President Strom Thacker sent an email to the community announcing Lopez’s death. He offered support resources for students, faculty and staff as they process their grief.

Lopez was remembered by the Pitzer community in memorial services on Sunday at the Multipurpose Room at the Gold Student Center (GSC) and Wednesday at Benson Auditorium. Students, faculty and staff attended Wednesday’s memorial both in person and through Zoom.

Over the weekend, Pitzer’s Latino Student Union also created a community altar for Lopez in the GSC’s Huerta room. Students wrote messages and memories on note cards to place at the altar. On Thursday, the altar was on display at Scott Hall as part of a larger Day of the Dead altar, which commemorated the lives of multiple people.

Lopez was born in Aspen, Colorado, on March 30, 2001. He was 22 years old at the time of his death.

At the memorial on Wednesday, students, faculty and loved ones offered their reflections on Lopez’s life. They mentioned his loving hugs, dedication and welcoming nature.

“Jesse wasn’t just my cousin; he was my twin flame, my person. Most importantly, he was my brother. A piece of my heart will forever and always go out to Jesse,” his cousin Amy Gisselle Amaya Argueta said. “He was my superman and saved me from my scariest monsters since I was born until he passed.”

He was an avid member in the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company (CCBDC) and the Claremont Christian Fellowship (CCF) while working at Pitzer’s GSC gym.

Lopez is survived by his brother Eliseo Mauricio Lopez, his aunt Blanca Edith Argueta Amaya, his uncle Jose Antonio Amaya Lopez and Amy Gisselle Amaya Argueta.

His family asks that contributions in Lopez’s memory be made to the Movember Foundation and Aspen Hope Center.

Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services is located in the Tranquada Student Services Center. The student crisis line phone number is 909-621-8202. Staff and faculty can call the 24/7 Employee Assistance Program number at 800-234-5465.

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