UT Students Walk For Fallen Friend

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Knoxville (WVLT) -- UT students and faculty spent Sunday remembering a student lost.

Nathan Boals, 21 died over the summer while studying abroad in Paris.

On Sunday morning, Boals' family and friends gathered on campus at Circle Park to raise money for a scholarship in his honor.

For those at the fundraiser, every step they took held a memory.

"Everyday is hard to be without him," said Martha Boals, Nathan’s mother. “It's worse than hard, you feel like a part of you is gone and a part of you is gone and will always be gone."

Nathan was found dead at the bottom of stairwell in French capital back in July.

"Healthy 21-year-old men aren't supposed to die," said Martha.

Nathan’s fellow students were also shocked by his death and that’s when they got to thinking about what they could do to help.

"As soon as we found out, as soon as classes started, we said ‘what are we going to do to remember him,’" said Amy Harp, from the UT Communications Studies Club.

What they did was organize an event that saw UT students, faculty, family, and friends take to Circle Park for the first annual Nathan Boals Scholarship Walk.

"He walked these walks and he was on this campus everyday, so it makes us feel closer to him to be here," Martha said.

There footsteps were raising money to create a new communications studies scholarship in his name.

"He could just make you laugh, say the funniest things and just make you smile," said Harp.

"He was funny and very sarcastic, which was always good," said Tori Mills, one of Nathan’s friends.

With Nathan gone, his family and friends worried the memories of him would be gone too, but with every lap they made sure that won’t happen.

"I miss him a lot,” Tori said, “We all do."

Even after the walking stopped, they still felt pain in every step, all because they still don't know why he died.

"Even if you know, things aren't going to change,” said Martha, “Nathan's not going to come back."

Thanks to the efforts of the Communications Studies Club he won't be forgotten.

Organizers say the event raised more than $2,000.

They plan to make it a yearly event.

The faculty said as long as UT’s standing, a student will receive the scholarship bearing Nathan's name.

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