KEARSTIN CANTRELL | Opinions Editor
One year ago today, March 7, 2017, 20-year-old Isaiah Kozak took his life in his dorm room.
Today, Lindenwood’s food service, Pedestal Foods, remembers Isaiah in a small, but meaningful way.
Students who get coffee in the Lion Pride Market or Starbucks may notice “IK41” written on their cup. Those who get Qdoba today will find the same black sharpie marks on their bowls. The Grill Spot in Spellmann also has the expression written boldly across the glass panel where students and faculty order. The idea for remembrance was brought to Pedestal by women’s lacrosse coach Jack Cribbin, according to Catering Director Nancy Tinker.
Kozak, a British Columbia native, was a member of the men’s lacrosse team and donned the No. 41 on the field.
By his coach and teammates, Kozak is remembered as a positive, happy-go-lucky person.
In a Lindenlink article posted shortly after Kozak’s death, men’s lacrosse coach Jim Lange commented on Kozak’s “remarkable affinity for his friends, team members, and university.”
A few weeks later, eight of Kozak’s teammates got tattoos in his honor. During that time, they too took time to reflect on the kind of person Isaiah was.
Then-junior Henry Wurzer said “My tattoo is a tribute to one of the greatest people I ever knew, and I never want to forget him because he had the greatest attitude and brought so much happiness and joy into the world.”
Teammate Andrew Fanizzi also reflected on some of his favorite things about Kozak.
“The first thing I think about when I think of Kozak was just his big bright smile and his big laugh that was kind of infectious to everybody,” he said. “Those were probably two of his best qualities.”
Students who may be struggling are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center. Student counseling is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or after hours by appointment. The Counseling Center can be reached at 636-949-4525.