Teaching through Tragedy – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Teaching through Tragedy

Exhibit traveling throughout the state strives to make college students aware of how quickly lives can change

(Aug. 17, 2004) SYRACUSE, N.Y.–On Nov. 11, 2000, William Smith students Emily Collins and Rachel Nargiso and their friends were walking back to Colgate University when it started to rain. They and their traveling companions flagged down a passing Jeep containing students who had been drinking at a fraternity party. Less than a minute later, the driver of the Jeep lost control on the slick road and crashed into an oak tree. The impact killed Collins and Nargiso, who were first year students at William Smith College, as well as Katie Almeter, a student at Colgate University and Kevin King of Troy, N.Y.

Recovered at the scene was the canvas bag that Collins had taken with her to visit a friend at Colgate. Also recovered was Nargiso's wallet, keys, and HWS ID. These items are some of 41 artifacts that make up the “Friends: One Day … One Wrong Turn” exhibit on display at the New York State Fair that runs from Aug. 26 through Sept. 6.

The 100-foot long exhibit focuses on the lives of the victims prior to the crash, emphasizing individual histories through photos, possessions, interviews with the victims' friends and families, and audio and visual recordings. A timeline traces the events of their last day, including a detailed account of the crash itself. Another section deals with the aftermath, how the incident has affected family, friends and the community.

The Lewis Henry Morgan Institute designed the exhibit in conjunction with the New York State STOP-DWI program, SUNY Institute of Technology and Union College with the hope of creating a powerful message that may deter college-age students from driving after consuming alcohol. The display will travel to colleges and universities throughout New York State so that its impact can be seen statewide.

The first Emily Collins '04 and Rachel Nargiso '04 Memorial Scholarship will be awarded at Hobart and William Smith Colleges this fall. The scholarship will go to an academically qualified and financially deserving William Smith student.

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