ELON, N.C. -- The Elon University community honored student Nicholas Kavouklis at commencement Friday morning, one day after the senior was found dead in Alamance County.
Kavouklis, of Tampa, Florida, died around 2 p.m. Thursday in a rural area of southern Alamance County, according to Owen Covington, with university communications.
Kavouklis was an exercise science major and a member of the Elon football team.
Graduates said the senior was well-known and kept his family in their thoughts during their celebrations.
“They must feel some empathy for the family who never got to experience that sadly. I’d like to think everyone here is praying and thinking about that family,” senior Johnny Ryan said.
Students gathered in the football stadium Thursday night to share memories about Kavouklis and celebrate his life.
"Everyone that was at that gathering talked about that larger-than-life personality, how he was so willing to help people and how he was just a fun person to be around," student Jack Healey said.
The university released the following to the campus:
Members of the Elon community,
I am deeply saddened to share the news that an Elon student died today. We were notified by the Alamance County Sheriff's Office that Nicholas Kavouklis, a member of the Class of 2019 and a native of Tampa, Florida, passed away shortly after 2 p.m. in a rural area of southern Alamance County.
Nick was an exercise science major, a member of the Elon football team and a two-time CAA Academic All-Conference honoree.
Nick’s death, especially coming on the eve of Commencement, is devastating to our community. Many of his classmates and teammates are deeply affected by this news and we are reaching out to them with support. Anyone who would like to talk about their feelings of loss or concern for themselves or others may contact crisis counselors and chaplain’s staff. They are available 24/7 by contacting Campus Safety and Police at 336-278-5555. The Student Life administrator-on-call may also be reached at any time by calling that same number, 336-278-5555.
A gathering open to all members of the Elon community has been scheduled for 9:00 p.m. tonight in Rhodes Stadium.
Our hearts are broken at this horrible news. Please take care of one another and draw strength from your family and our community in the days and weeks ahead.
Jon Dooley, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life