Baker urged to honor by example

“You’ll never be great without taking a chance.”

This was the last post Tyler Jeck made on his Facebook wall, just nine days before he went missing July 16.

Jeck’s body was found July 19 in Beaver Lake after a boating accident in Arkansas, according to Benton County authorities.

Jeck was reported missing July 16 after jumping into the lake.

This summer the Baker community lost someone special.

Tyler was a scholar and a comedian. To many he was a teammate, a classmate and a friend.

Tyler represented what Baker University is all about.

He was friendly and funny.

Tyler was a hard-worker, but he liked to have fun, too.

He was both an athlete and a student and excelled at both.

The tragic news of Tyler’s death broke the hearts of many who knew him.

The Baker community was devastated to learn it had lost such a wonderful person.

To those who never got the chance to meet Tyler, he was the type of person you would want in your group during class projects.

He was the type of friend you could always depend on.

He was the teammate that always gave his best effort.

Through all the hurt of losing Tyler, Baker University students, faculty and staff pulled together in a time of such loss to honor him, and to console one another.

The university hosted a candlelight memorial while scuba diver’s searched for Tyler’s body in Arkansas and a bus carrying teammates and coaches made its way from Baldwin City to Pittsburg for his funeral.

The Baker community grieved together and was strong for each other, which is what Tyler would have wanted: for us to support each other instead of mourn alone.

A Facebook page titled ‘RIP Tyler Jeck’ was made for the community to express their loss and find closure.

While Baker students, faculty and staff begin the new school year, there is one Wildcat missing.

Although we are saddened without Tyler’s presence on campus, those still at Baker should remember to honor Tyler by representing the university the way he did.

Work hard to be the best you can be.

Smile all the time because Tyler always had a smile on his face.

Be a good friend to others, the way Tyler was to those close to him.

Most importantly, take chances because that is what Tyler did.

He took chances even if it meant he might fail, and it made him great.

If we honor Tyler’s memory by doing these things, we may get the chance to achieve greatness in the same way Tyler did.