Updated: Truman still recovering from student death

The Truman State community still is recovering from the loss of freshman William “Billy” Batterson last Monday, Sept. 14.

The University will host the Bulldog Forever Homecoming 5K in memory of Batterson at 8 a.m. Oct. 10 as part of the 2015 Homecoming events. Participants can register at the Advancement Office in 205 McClain Hall. Batterson’s parents also have established the William Batterson Memorial Scholarship in his memory.

John Gardner, Director of Residence Life, said losing a student like Batterson is a tragedy. He said Residence Life did exactly what they were supposed to do during a medical emergency situation by calling 911 immediately to get the proper medical attention.

He said the University offered counseling that same evening, and Reslife is checking in on those who especially were affected by Batterson’s death and is responding to their needs.

“It’s confusing for college students when someone their age dies,” Gardner said. “The thing about grief is that you don’t know when it’s going to hit you. For some it’s immediate, and for others, it’s further down the road.”

Gardner said the Dean’s office is looking to host a memorial service on campus to commemorate Batterson’s life.

Saint Louis resident Marin Cernik said Batterson was one of her closest friends.

“Billy was like a brother to me,” Cernik said. “I didn’t believe [his death] was real when I heard what happened and I still don’t want to. I actually just had dinner with his mom and dad and him about four weeks ago, and he was doing fine. He was telling me about how much fun he was having [at Truman] and all the great friends he was making. But he was never one to have trouble making friends.”

Cernik said Batterson had wanted to get more involved with the University and had planned to join a fraternity on Truman’s campus.

Stay tuned to TMN for more information and updates about the campus memorial service.