Late Frater Receives Deserved Art Degree
As a student at Barry University in Florida, Frater Neil Hutcheson could be seen all over campus.
He volunteered. He served as a senator for the School of Education in the university's student body. He was an officer in the TKE Colony 794.
He worked full-time to support himself through school, all in an effort to one day become a high school art teacher.
But Hutcheson, a Donora native, died last July in a motorcycle accident in Florida at the age of 24, never realizing his goal of obtaining a degree from the university.
The 9,000-student private university honored Hutcheson during winter commencement, presenting a posthumous degree to his mother, Donna Wnek.
Hutcheson's best friend and fellow frater, Ed Moreno, escorted Wnek on stage.
His aunt, Sister Phyllis Superfisky, said obtaining a degree always was of paramount importance to Hutcheson, and although the aspiring teacher was not scheduled to graduate this term, he had more than enough academic credits to allow the administration to award him a bachelor of arts degree in general studies.
Eileen McDonough, associate vice president for student affairs and professor of education, said Hutcheson was more than worthy.
"Neil was just an outstanding young man," she said. "He had a wonderful personality. He was very outgoing."
Had he become a teacher, many agree that he would have been an exemplary one.
"He had such a great personality," McDonough said. "He would have been a great teacher. He was so good with people."
His aunt simply characterized him as "a teacher at heart."
"He has taught by his suffering and death," Superfisky said. "His life and death has been a lesson to us all."
Ron Lennon, a professor and chapter advisor to Colony 794, said that a scholarship fund has been established in Hutcheson's name and honor. The scholarship, which will be awarded annually, will honor someone in the fraternity who emulates Hutcheson's interest in the fraternity and school.
"He was very energetic, very concerned about people," he said. "If he thought something wasn't right, he made point of making sure that people knew it wasn't right."
Adapted from Observer-Reporter.com. If you would like to see your chapter news here, contact Communications Coordinator Tom McAninch.