Campus remembers positive and enthusiastic leader

 The vigil was organized by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI).

Friends, family and faculty gathered in Banquet Room B in the Oakland Center to hold a final vigil for 21-year-old Grizzly, Cody Petzold, last Thursday night. The vigil was organized by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI).

His art sat at the front of the room for all to view in addition to printed pictures of his childhood. A slideshow of recent pictures of him with friends accompanied students in the background as they talked about memories and how much Cody meant to them.

“Enthusiasm,” “positive energy” and “leadership” were just some of the words speakers used when describing Cody, but it was known by everyone present that there are just not enough words to do justice to Cody’s unique and loved personality.

“There was no question he had leadership qualities,” Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) president Becca Reichenbach said.

Cody was a role model for all, having a 3.99 GPA his freshman year, a peer mentor, resident assistant, new student orientation leader and a former vice president of the GSA are just a few of the services Cody contributed to Oakland University.

Best friend Bria Ellis talked about how Cody enjoyed fashion and that not one article of clothing in her closet wasn’t modified or tailored in some way by Cody to help fit her better. She also mentioned among many things that he would always play Wilson Phillips’ “Hold on for One More Day” and that Cody’s truck was named Rhonda.

High school friend Jesse Spaine said that at their 2011 graduation ceremony from Holly High School in the O’rena, valedictorian Cody said in his speech to “just be yourself”. Spaine ended his testimony by saying he learned from Cody that “when you look back, it only matters what you thought about yourself.”

Dr. Sanders and Dr. Despot of the Counseling Center (OUCC), located on campus at the Graham Health Center (GHC) building, emphasized that “we all handle grief in different ways” and encouraged students to visit them.

For more information on the services the GHC and OUCC offer for students, call 248.370.3465, visit or stop by the office located on Meadow Brook Rd. near the Human Health Building.