In Memoriam: Remembering our Badgers from 2018-‘19

Photo of blooming trees in front of Carillon Tower
The May 3 ceremony took place at the Carillon Tower.

On May 3, UW-Madison honored students who passed away this academic year during a memorial at the Carillon Bell Tower.

The university community is saddened by the loss of each student.

“All nine students leave a lasting impact on the university, friends, and family members. We are grateful for the time each of them was with us on our campus. Each of our students were valued and left a unique legacy of their own, contributing positively to the campus community. We will miss these Badgers,” said Interim Dean of Students Argyle Wade.

The students who are remembered are:

Ricky Johnson of Madison, Wisconsin died on May 14, 2018. Johnson was a guest auditor at UW-Madison who enjoyed taking classes to learn more about a variety of subjects.

Elijah Stickley of Urbana, Ohio died on July 5, 2018. Eli was majoring in Life Science Communications on the pre-chiropractic route; he was also pursuing a certificate in Entrepreneurship. Much of Eli’s time at UW was dedicated to the Badger Wrestling Team. Eli was an NCAA qualifier, Big Ten place, and an Academic All-American wrestler. Eli will be remembered for being a great friend and a dedicated athlete with a positive attitude and an infectious smile.

Claudia Aldrich was a graduate student in the College of Letters and Science. She passed away on October 4, 2018.

Undergraduate student Sydney Luksich of Stoughton, Wisconsin passed away on January 1, 2019. Luksich graduated from Stoughton High School then attended the University of Iowa before transferring to UW-Madison where she was majoring in English. Sydney will be remembered for her infectious smile, signature laugh, and a great sense of humor.

Joshua Plantz passed away on January 16, 2019. Josh graduated from East Lyme High School in Connecticut in 2012 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from UW-Madison in 2016. During his time as an undergrad, Josh conducted research in cell and tissue engineering, as well as Biomedical Engineering. After graduation, Josh worked as a Research Technologist at the Medical College of Wisconsin before returning to Madison as a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering. Plantz was passionate about advancing biomedical research to find treatments for diseases and injuries.

Marc Espino passed away peacefully on January 21, 2019. Marc graduated from Yuma High School in 1995 and went to attend Arizona State University before transferring to the University of Arizona. He majored in Psychology and upon graduation enrolled in the Master of Counseling program at the University of Phoenix-Tucson. Upon receiving his master’s degree, Marc became a licensed professional counselor. As a member of the Tohono O’Odham Nation, Marc had a desire to work with Native American communities. Traveling around the country meeting many people and assisting Native American tribes to improve their programs convinced him to put his career on hold and accept a three-year fellowship to pursue a Doctoral Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology in the College of Education at UW- Madison. Marc will be remembered as an adventurous and compassionate person that touched the lives of many. 

Phillip Wang passed away on January 23, 2019. Wang graduated from Waukesha North High School in 2012 and attended UW-Madison from 2012 to 2019. He was presented with a posthumous degree in English. Phillip was a dear friend to many and will be remembered for his sense of humor, fun-loving spirit, and caring soul. 

Michael Meads of Kennebunk, Maine died on February 14, 2019. Meads became sick during the process of applying for the Naval ROTC program with the intent to become a Navy SEAL and a neurosurgeon. Michael graduated from Portsmouth Abbey School in 2018 before attending UW-Madison in the fall. During his time at UW-Madison, Meads was a pledge brother in Phi Gamma Delta.  Meads will be remembered for his determination, leadership, and compassion for others.

Nathan Egert of Burr Ridge, Illinois passed away February 21, 2019. A graduate from Lyons Township High School in 2016, Egert was studying Nursing before transferring to the College of Letters and Science to pursue Political Science. During his time at UW-Madison, Nathan was involved in his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, serving as alumni chair. Nathan will be remembered for his ability to have a conversation about anything with anyone and for his huge heart.