On Sept. 26 a memorial service was held for Julian “Myles” Mislavsky. The service included an opening prayer from Fr. John Dennehy as well as readings and prayers from Myles’ fraternity brothers in Alpha Sigma Phi, Matthew Mazza and Nevin Wildermuth.
Dr. Mary Meehan, interim University president, greeted mourning family, friends, faculty and SHU community members as they gathered in Bethany Hall for the service. She said Myles was a well-rounded student who made an impact on the community. “On our campus, as you all know, Myles made a difference,” Meehan said. “He was an active member of his fraternity and was a major fan of our volleyball team. His keen interest in psychology, his emotional intelligence and compassion for others was evident in every interaction.”
Meehan offered her condolences to the Mislavsky family and related the grief those on campus may be feeling.
“Myles only spent 8,411 precious days on this earth,” she said. “His time with us was far too short. We wish we had more time to tell him how special he was, to laugh with him, to tell him how much he was loved.”
Dr. Paige Fisher, an associate professor of psychology, led a faculty address remembering Myles as a student. Myles was a psychology major who attended many of Fisher’s classes, including abnormal psychology. According to Fisher, Myles was a critical thinker who always engaged in class discussions and often reflected on classmates’ input.
“Several things about Myles stand out to us,” Fisher said. “His engagement as a learner was front-and-center. His contributions show that he enjoyed thinking about things deeply. We laughed a lot as well.”
Mazza, who said he was Mislavsky’s close friend in the fraternity, described Mislavsky as an intelligent, kind and patient friend. According to Mazza, Mislavsky could just as easily hang out with friends and watch the Yankees as he could achieve a high score on a practice LSAT exam in the library at 2 a.m.
“No matter where we go or what trouble we get into Myles will be right there beside us through it all,” Mazza said.
Following Mazza’s reflection, Beth Haddad, Myles’ aunt, read a poem entitled, “I’ll Lend You a Child,” about coping with the grief of losing a child at a young age.
Marie Young, whose daughter befriended Mislavsky in a Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) group, read a letter from her daughter, Marisa, explaining the disease and its potentially devastating effects. “All he wanted was to make his family proud,” she said. “He didn’t want to devastate his friends and family.”
Young’s daughter went on to explain that she once felt the pain Myles did as well and may feel it again. She said the disease is an ongoing battle. However, she added that these feelings will pass and a person will often benefit from treatment and/or therapy.
Fr. John Dennehy closed the service by reminding students to be kind to one another and help those in need.
In lieu of flowers, the Mislavsky family would like the community to donate to the DBSA to educate families about mental illness.
Julie Trien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.