Senior campus leader dies in highway ramp accident

“Cody was a highly regarded scholar and student leader at Oakland University and the news of his death has saddened our campus community,” said Glenn McIntosh, interim vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this most difficult time.”

By Oona Goodin-Smith

UPDATE (12/28): A visitation will be held for friends of Cody on Tuesday, Dec. 30 from 3:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home, 5929 S. Main Street in Clarkston. Donations may be made to the Oakland University Gay-Straight Alliance. The Oakland Post will continue to update as arrangements regarding the “Celebration of Life” time and location become available.

The Oakland University community is mourning the loss of 21-year-old senior, campus leader, and friend Cody Petzold after he died from severe head trauma resulting from a motor vehicle accident at a construction site near the entrance ramp at 12 Mile Road and I-75 on the morning of Friday, Dec. 26.

About to begin his final semester of undergraduate study this January, Petzold was a member of the Honors College studying Human Resources Development and earned a 3.99 GPA during his first year on campus and the 2011 Credit Union One COS Award which covered his freshman year tuition, books and room and board, according to the Oakland University website.

“Cody was a highly regarded scholar and student leader at Oakland University and the news of his death has saddened our campus community,” said Glenn McIntosh, interim vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this most difficult time.”

As a resident assistant, new student orientation group leader, peer mentor for Oakland’s Center Multicultural Initiatives, University Housing academic peer mentor and former vice president of the Gay Straight Alliance, Petzold has “held every visible leadership role on campus,” according to McIntosh. Petzold also formerly worked as an executive assistant at the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce and as a Chrysler Corporation intern.  

“He was always heavily invested in the success of the students he served,” Director of Housing Jim Zentmeyer told oakland.edu.

Funeral arrangements are still being finalized by Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home in Clarkston, but an online guestbook is available on the home’s website.

Petzold’s friends Bria Ellis and Erin Feeney are compiling “Letters to Cody” with memories and messages from those he impacted and can be submitted to [email protected] or [email protected].

The Oakland Post will continue to update the story as more details and funeral arrangements become available.

If you or someone you know would like to share memories of Cody, please contact Editor-in-Chief Oona Goodin-Smith at [email protected].