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Courtney O’Bryan Award Presented At THON

A somber moment fell over the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday as the stands began to fill up for the day ahead.

The O’Bryan family came on addressed the audience in memory of their daughter Courtney. Courtney passed away in 2011 on the way to a THON canning trip when the car she was traveling in slipped on black ice.

A video remembering Courtney’s life played for a silent BJC before her parents took the microphone to speak.

“Part of Courtney’s legacy — and her high school yearbook quote — was ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’ Courtney’s life happened,” Mr. O’Bryan said.

A member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority, Courtney participated in canning trips, the THON 5K, sending THONvelopes, and countless other FTK events and activities before her untimely death when she was just a freshman.

Courtney left behind a legacy of memories instilled in her family and friends, inspiring the creation of the Courtney O’Bryan Award that’s presented each year at THON.

The Huntington, NY native left behind many memories, forever instilled with her family and friends. Her legacy lives on and, as Mr. O’Bryan explained, inspired the creation of the Courtney O’Bryan Volunteer Award.

This year’s recipient is Caroline Lerche, a dancer for Sigma Delta Tau (which was also Courtney’s sorority). Mrs. O’Bryan said Lerche is also a cancer survivor herself.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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