New College community gathers to remember Allyson Arvin

About 40 students, faculty and staff members gathered outside College Hall on Friday, Sept. 21, for a candlelight memorial service to honor New College student Allyson Arvin, who passed away Sept. 12. The group assembled outside of the Hamilton Center and walked across campus for the ceremony at the Bayfront.

Students, faculty and administrators gathered in a circle with lit candles as New College Student Association Co-President Selena Goods read the poem “Farewell My Friends,” by Rabindranath Tagore (see below). Dean of Student Affairs Robin Williamson recited a passage by Leo Buscaglia. New College’s campus minister, the Rev. Melanie Kim, delivered the eulogy, speaking of Arvin’s love of reading and her desire to become a librarian. She also spoke about the wonderful friends that Arvin had found at New College and the happiness she had experienced as a student here.

The day before, Arvin’s family held a Celebration of Life service for her in Clearwater. The Office of Student Affairs has forwarded cards and other written expressions of sympathy from New College students to the family.

Farewell My Friends

Farewell My Friends
It was beautiful
As long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets
Whatsoever said
The pain I’ll leave behind.
Those dear hearts
Who love and care…
And the strings pulling
At the heart and soul…
The strong arms
That held me up
When my own strength
Let me down.
At the turning of my life
I came across
Good friends,
Friends who stood by me
Even when time raced me by.

Farewell, farewell my friends
I smile and
Bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears
For I need them not
All I need is your smile.
If you feel sad
Do think of me
For that’s what I’ll like
When you live in the hearts
Of those you love
Remember then
You never die.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre bay front campus is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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