Honoring Alexander Spycher (1987-2009)

Alex SpycherThe George Fox University community mourns the loss of Alexander David Francois Spycher, a transfer student from Mt. Hood Community College.

Alexander, 21, unexpectedly passed away around 6 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3. He was living in campus housing and woke up early in the morning with chest pains and was taken to Providence Newberg Medical Center by emergency medical personnel. George Fox University President Robin Baker, Vice President of Student Life Brad Lau and other university officials were alerted and immediately went to the hospital to meet with family members.

Lau informed George Fox students and employees of Alexander's death via e-mail on Thursday morning. "Our hearts ache for his family and friends," he wrote. "Please keep them in your prayers as well as his housemates here on campus."

Because of federal privacy laws, the university does not plan to release any further medical information.

Alexander was a talented musician who studied under noted Portland woodwind instructor Joe Wimmer and had received a music scholarship to play clarinet in the George Fox Symphonic Band. He had enrolled for the fall semester and had been on campus for less than a week.

"He was really friendly and had a beautiful smile," said Pat Vandehey, the director of the George Fox Symphonic Band. "We were looking forward to getting to know him."

Alexander planned to major in either international studies or history at George Fox. After graduating from Clackamas High School in 2005, Alexander enrolled in Mt. Hood Community College. He was the band manager and alto saxophonist for the Green Machine Jazz Ensemble.

His immediate family includes his parents, Pierre and Karen Spycher; his two brothers, Johen Pierre and Nicholas; and his sister Briele.

"If I have any words of advice, I would tell you to trust yourself and your dreams, never let any person take your dreams away, for at points in your life, dreams are the only thing you will have left."

- Alexander Spycher

The university honored Alexander Thursday, Sept. 3, during a 9 p.m. worship service in the Cap and Gown Room in the Student Union Building. Attendees were given the opportunity to sign a large card that will be delivered to the Spycher family.

Memories and condolences also may be shared at the George Fox University Facebook site.

Counseling is being made available at the Health and Counseling Office (503-554-2340) and at the Office of Spiritual Life (503-554-2320).