Former classmate of deceased Kent State student sets up scholarship fund

Jack Kopanski

After Kent State junior psychology major Christian Whittingham passed away over winter break in a snorkeling accident, one of his high school classmates is going the extra mile to honor his memory and assure he will never be forgotten.

Adrienne Ansel, a 21-year-old exercise science major at Bowling Green, decided to start the fund along with other alumnus from New Philadelphia High School in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

“I grew up with (Whittingham) since elementary school,” Ansel said. “But he went to Kent and I went to BG, so I hadn’t seen him in a little while. I kept close with some of his other really good friend, so we all thought that it’d be a really good thing to do.

Ansel said she wanted to help make Whittingham be honored for “something that he could be remembered for (for) years to come.”

In less than a month, the account has already surpassed its initial goals of $1,000 and $2,000, and is now currently at $7,530 of the $10,000 goal.

Should the goal be made, New Philadelphia High School’s Quaker foundation —which offers scholarships to graduating seniors — will make the scholarship permanent, and offer it for years to come.

“We’ve raised an incredible amount of money,” Ansel said. “We’re really close to our goal, so it’ll be a great way to honor him and a great way to help people in the future.”

As one of Whittingham’s best friends, Jordan Gasser knows that this scholarship is exactly the thing to honor his memory. He said he’s thrilled with the response it has received.

“When talking about his plans for the future, (Whittingham) said that he just wanted to help people,” Gasser said. “This scholarship will fulfill his passion. I think it’s so important for his family and friends to be able to remember (Whittingham) in this way and the impact he had on others.

“I’m amazed at how many people have shown their support for (Whittingham),” Gasser continued. “I’m happy he was so loved. It would mean the world to him knowing how many people cared about him.”

Both knowing Whittingham well, Ansel and Gasser encourage others to support this cause paying homage to their friend, and helping future Quaker graduates in their friend’s name.

“If you’re part of a community, whether it’s high school or college, it’s our job to take care of community members,” Ansel said. “It’s important to remember that life is precious.”

“(Whittingham) was the most genuine and respectable guy I knew,” Gasser said. “He always wanted to make sure everyone was having fun. I will always admire his personality and his desire to bring happiness to the world.”

Anyone interested in donating to this fund can do so here.

Jack Kopanski is an assigning editor, contact him at [email protected]