Students, professors, staff, alumni and members of the Northfield community poured into Skinner Chapel Saturday to mourn the loss and celebrate the lives of James Adams ‘15, Michael Goodgame ‘15, and Paxton Harvieux ‘15, who died Friday in a car accident.
Chaplain Carolyn Fure-Slocum and President Poskanzer began by addressing the need for community cohesion. The microphone was then opened for attendees to share stories and memories.
The second floor of Davis Hall, where Adams and Goodgame lived their freshman year, was a common setting for memories. “James was always walking around in his underwear,” a former floor-mate said. “Michael was the best listener I’ve ever talked to.” Audience members smiled when Isabelle Rivers-McCue, the two boys’ Residential Assistant, recalled ordering them to stop throwing Frisbees in the narrow hallway.
Students spoke of Harvieux’s energy and kindness. Jhernie Evangelista recalled him offering to take her to a concert in the cities soon after they’d arrived at Carleton their freshman year. She accepted his invitation, and afterward they spent the night at his family’s house in Stillwater, Minnesota. “He said, ‘You can sleep in my bed, and I’ll sleep in the dog bed,’” she said. “That was after only two days of knowing him.”
Leah Cole and Jake Kramer both shared stories from their study abroad trip with Harvieux in Berlin. Cole recounted eating with Harvieux at an Italian restaurant. In response to her pleading with him, on a previous visit, to start out with just one dish, Harvieux said, “Leah, I’m getting two dishes, and you can’t stop me.” Kramer, who had always shared a hotel room with Harvieux while traveling, told of his unique sleeping style – face smashed straight into his pillow. “Once, I asked him, ‘Why do you sleep like that?’ and he answered, ‘Why not?’ That’s who Paxton was. He wasn’t afraid to break the mold.”
Audience members also spoke of Adams’ kindness. “James Adams was the reason I came to Carleton,” one student said. “During new student week, he took me under his wing.” Carleton Ultimate Frisbee Coach Phil Bowen said Adams had driven to Minneapolis a week before to teach Bowen’s son how to play hockey. Philip Xiao remembered Adams coming up behind him in the library and giving him a back massage. “I’m sure he did that to everyone, but it felt really good,” he said.
Matt Jorrizo, who lived on Harvieux’s freshman floor, described watching him work for hours on his computer to make a “crazy electronic” song. “That song is probably still somewhere on his hard drive,” Jorrizo said.
Each laugh in the audience was followed by choked cry. Attendees left the chapel with heavy hearts and sweet stories of those lost.
Over a thousand people attended the vigil, The Northfield News estimated. For more information on the three students’ funeral arrangements and the two students still hospitalized, visit the Carleton College website.