Jackson to be remembered for warm smile

Corey Dwayne Jackson, 19, of Warren died on the campus of Oakland University Tuesday, Oct. 19.

A sophomore who lived in the residence halls, Jackson was well liked among his peers.

One of his close friends, Justine Roy, described him as a vivacious and outgoing person.

“It didn’t matter if it was your darkest day, he would put a smile on your face,” Roy said. “He would just bring you out of that bad mood.”

Jackson committed suicide the day before Spirit Day, a day that honors LGBT youth who have recently committed suicide.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, many students, faculty and staff wore purple in memory of Jackson and other gay teenagers.

Over 500 people braved the elements to attend a candlelight vigil held outside Vandenberg Hall that night.

Though the event was also meant to promote awareness of antigay bullying, the Oakland University Police Department found no evidence of bullying while investigating Jackson’s death.

“We actually found that it was the opposite,” OUPD Captain Mark Gordon said. “He was very welcomed and liked in the circles he was involved with on campus.”

Gordon said OUPD spoke to people involved with every part of Jackson’s life and found that he was very supported.

OU’s chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity considered Jackson a brother. He was a winter 2010 pledge. Though he never chose to formally go through initiation, members honored him by wearing black ribbon threaded through their fraternity lapel pins.

The gesture is normally reserved for TKE brothers. TKE president Nick McCormick said because he was so close to initiation and was a friend to many members, the fraternity decided to honor Jackson.

“He seemed to be up on the high,” McCormick said. “It was a shock and none of us suspected it because when I saw him, he was upbeat.”

The campus community put together a variety of fundraisers to help raise money for Jackson’s funeral.

Chartwells collected dollar donations and those who donated could have their name displayed on the wall. Barnes and Noble will be holding a similar fundraiser this Thursday.

Tau Kappa Epsilon distributed purple and yellow ribbons in exchange for any donations. The Environmental Society held a fundraiser at Coldstone Creamery and a portion of the sales went to Jackson’s family.

Junior sociology major Jeff Lamkin Jr. said that over $700 has been raised for the family thus far, and their goal is to cover as much of the funeral costs as possible.

University Housing offered Bear Bus transportation on Sunday for students that wished to attend the public viewing and funeral service.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday at the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit from 2-3 p.m.

The Community Church of Dettroit is located at 244 Pinecrest Avenue, in Frendale.