In memory of a business professor who died in a car crash last month, students held a fundraiser to raise money for a namesake scholarship.
The sudden and tragic death of Constantine “Chris” Pavlides, professor of entrepreneurship at the Fox School of Business, on Nov. 17 left many in shock, and his funeral four days later left many wondering how to move on and how best to keep the memory of the beloved professor alive.
Last Friday, only 17 days after Pavlides’ passing, a group of his former students held a fundraiser in the atrium of Alter Hall to begin the process of setting up a scholarship fund in his memory.
The students, members of the Entrepreneurial Student Association, which sponsored the event, held a live silk screening and T-shirt sale, with most of the proceeds going toward the $10,000 needed to establish the scholarship in his name. Philly Screens, a local screen-printing company co-owned by ESA member Tim Nesmith, a senior entrepreneurship major, provided equipment for the event.
“We wanted to come up with some way to give back in his name, something that would keep his memory going from year to year,” said senior entrepreneurship major Arne Morin, one of the students behind the fundraiser.
The event and the scholarship fund all started just after Pavlides’ funeral. Four of Pavlides’ former students, including Nesmith and Morin, plus senior entrepreneurship major Brittany Julian and senior marketing major and ESA president Linda Loi, were driving back to Philadelphia from the funeral in Bethlehem, Pa., wondering how they could raise the sort of money that would be needed to start a scholarship fund in their professor’s memory. The four entrepreneurship students came up with a clothing brand – ILM, short for “In Loving Memory.”
Loi said in an e-mail that ILM was inspired by Pavlides. Each T-shirt design features an owl, a significant symbol to the professor, who was known to have more than 150 owl figurines in his office.
Every shirt purchased comes with a tag featuring the ILM logo and a Russell Conwell quote on one side and the name of the shirt designer on the other, along with a touching message about Pavlides, his impact on the lives of his students and the ILM founders’ hope that their mentor’s memory will live on.
At noon the day of the fundraiser, a memorial service for Pavlides was held on the seventh floor of Alter Hall. Pavlides’ students and colleagues, past and present, attended the memorial service, as well as his family, who purchased several T-shirts in the Atrium before the service.
“It was a great feeling for the Temple family to get together and celebrate the life that Chris lived,” Loi said about the memorial.
Loi spoke at the service about her impressions of Pavlides as an educator, highlighting his kindness and passion for helping students.
The fundraiser grossed close to $1,600 that day. The demand was so high students took about 40 orders to be filled this week. ILM will not be selling shirts online, but they do plan on holding another event in the spring.
When asked if she or the other students involved were concerned about being able to raise $10,000, Loi said ILM is only one of several efforts toward making Pavlides’ scholarship fund a reality.
Pavlides’ family donated some of his owl figurines to be auctioned online to support the cause, and many others have expressed interest in donating to the fund.
Michael Polinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.