Candlelight vigil held for Alejandro Cifuentes

Daniel Yanez
Some of Cifuentes’ loved ones attended the vigil. The father of Cifuentes is pictured on the left.

By Daniel Yanez | News Editor

A candlelight vigil was recently held for Alejandro Cifuentes, an A&M-Commerce student who passed away on the morning of Oct. 31 after falling from the roof of the Whitley Hall.

Cifuentes was a 22-year-old political science major in his senior year at TAMUC from Nicaragua. According to a TAMUC administrator, Cifuentes’ death is believed to be an apparent suicide.

Cifuentes’ body was found by university work crews shortly before 8 a.m. on Oct. 31 in a grassy area just west of Whitley Hall. The university police department was on scene after reports of the body surfaced.

In a report from Noah Nelson Vice President for Media Relations & Community Engagement at A&M-Commerce early last week, the 22-year-old’s death is believed to have been around 5 a.m. that day.

TAMUC University Police Department ruled out foul play in the investigation of the student’s death although an official report has yet been released by medical examiners.

Whitley Hall is one of the most notable landmarks in the city of Commerce and is the tallest building between Dallas and Texarkana. The 12-story high rise is 146-foot tall residence hall built in 1969. It is still unknown how the student got onto the building’s roof.

The memorial service was held on the Great Lawn of the A&M-Commerce campus on the behalf of fellow students and classmates.

Before candles were lit, Alejandro Cifuentes was posthumously inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the honor society for political science majors. The induction pin was presented to Cifentes’ father by Dr. Jeffrey Herndon, head of the political science department.

After a prayer from Reverend Marcus Chidozie of the St. Joseph Catholic Church of Commerce, TAMUC President Ray Keck announced a scholarship fund in memory of the Cifuentes.  Keck said details on how to contribute or make donations are still in the works.

As the sun set, several students and TAMUC faculty took the open mic opportunity to talk about Cifuentes and the memories they each had with him.

Throughout the memorial service those in attendance also had the opportunity to write messages to Cifuentes and his family on a remembrance board.

Funeral services for Cifuentes were held in the student’s home country of Nicaragua.