Erron Reynolds’ love and devotion to students went beyond their basic needs, according to Jeanne Keyser, an assistant director for Residence Life at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“[Reynolds] was deeply passionate about creating inclusive communities and promoting social justice through education, intervention and personal example,” she said in an email. “He saw the beauty, dignity and value in all people, and in particular those individuals who may feel marginalized or alone at a large Midwestern university.”
UNL Residence Life will host a celebration of life honoring Reynolds on April 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the University Suites Multipurpose Room. Reynolds, who served as the residence director for Schramm Hall for more than 15 years, died suddenly early December 2018 after a medical emergency.
The celebration will be a time for staff, students and friends to gather and share memories, Keyser said.
A facilitator will lead a time of recognition at 6:30 p.m, when Keyser said participants can share about his impact on their lives.
Before the memorial, Reynolds will be one of the staff honored at the Red Memorial, an annual event hosted by UNL Student Affairs to remember and celebrate students, faculty, staff and alumni who died during the current academic year.
Keyser knew Reynolds during his time as residence director and said he was a student advocate and servant leader of unparalleled devotion, sensitivity, integrity and excellence.
“He was able to build genuine rapport with people from all walks of life, which allowed him to provide the support and challenge necessary to help them open up to new ideas,” she said.
Keyser said she thinks Reynolds was an energetic and skilled coach who freely shared his gifts with staff and students. She said he took time to encourage both undergraduate and graduate students and his peers in Residence Life to pursue their own professional development and aspirations.
In the past five years, Keyser said Reynolds helped four resident assistants secure professional positions in Residence Life programs across the United States.
“It is very exciting to contemplate what these new Student Affairs professionals will contribute as a result of the significant and overwhelmingly positive influence that [Reynolds] has had in their lives,” she said.
Rob Andrews, area coordinator for Harper, Schramm, Smith and The Village, said he thinks Reynolds had the biggest heart of anyone he knows.
“Regardless of the situation, he had a way of communicating with you that made you feel loved,” he said.
Andrews said he feels Reynolds will always be with the people who knew him.
“He worked here for long enough to have had his hand in almost every process that housing does, and many of them contain pieces of his ethics and magic,” he said.
Keyser said she feels Reynolds made the UNL campus community better for everyone.
“His legacy of student service and advocacy will be carried on by all who were impacted by his selfless leadership and friendship,” she said. “It is fair to say he helped many of us become better people.”