© 2023 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

MSU students memorialize Brendan Santo at The Rock

MSU freshman Jewelian Rupright spray painted this tribute to Brendan Santo at The Rock.
Kevin Lavery
MSU freshman Jewelian Rupright spray painted this tribute to Brendan Santo at The Rock.

Students at Michigan State University are honoring the memory of Brendan Santo, whose body was recovered from the Red Cedar River in January. 

Santo was an 18-year-old student at Grand Valley State University who went missing from MSU’s campus last October.

His remains were found nearly three months later.

MSU freshman Jewelian Rupright didn’t know Santo personally, but on Wednesday she arrived at The Rock, MSU’s iconic, ever changing message board, to spray paint his name and his likeness, bearing angel wings and a halo.

Rupright says Santo’s death was a wake up call for all students.

“It’s really daunting and like, sobered people up at MSU that we need to be more careful and we need to make sure that our friends get home safe,” said Rupright. “MSU is a very big campus and when you’re walking at night, it’s just not a good idea. I think that just remembering Brendan, it will keep other people from doing the same.”

University officials say safety measures like additional fencing and better lighting are being put in place along the Red Cedar on campus.

A memorial for Brendan Santo was also planned for Thursday evening at Grand Valley State University.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
Related Content
Did you know that 40% of Michigan third graders have trouble with reading? Join WKAR in our efforts to increase youth literacy. Every donation of $60 or more provides a reading kit to a child in our community, and funds another year of local journalism. Donate today!