Celebration held in rememberance of Hayn

Tom Hayn believed in the principles of honesty and friendship, and he lived his life to those standards.

On Tuesday night, the faces of those whose lives were touched by the University student continued to echo the love and loyalty he nurtured.

More than a hundred people who knew Hayn gathered to remember their friend and family member. Watching a slide show of his life play before them, the audience laughed at some photos featuring Hayn’s ever-present smile and grew mournfully silent as other pictures of the student enjoying life were displayed.

The 21-year-old junior and president of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity died at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland on April 19 three days after a car accident.

Hayn’s brother, Richard, introduced the Parma native to Bowling Green and the fraternity at the age of 16. Richard Hayn remembered with pride seeing his brother become involved in Greek life and follow in his footsteps.

“He more than filled my shoes,” Richard Hayn said.

Hayn joined the fraternity with his childhood friend, Joe Koval. He proved himself to be an energetic source of unity and laughs through the pranks he enjoyed playing, Koval said.

“He always brought smiles to the room,” Koval said.

Rooming with Koval and another fraternity member, Kevin Schmit, Hayn’s drive to serve his brothers quickly emerged. By his sophomore year, he became vice president of the fraternity.

“He had always said, ‘I’m going to be president some day,'” Schmit said.

This year, he achieved that goal. Hayn’s dedication to being the best he could be continued in that role.

“Everything he did, he fought hard for,” Schmit said.

His adherence to values took shape in a new standards system. Through peer evaluations, members of the fraternity are held to the codes of behavior set by the chapter.

That shared responsibility was an ideal Hayn not only preached, but lived.

“You could always turn to him,” Schmit said.

His devotion earned him the praise of his fraternity brothers. They nominated Hayn for a Greek man of honor award. In a letter to Ron Binder, director of Greek Affairs, Hayn spoke about how difficult but necessary it is to live up to the things you say.

“It’s a tough thing to do, but it is so worth the trouble,” Hayn said.

As the memorial ceremony drew to a close, those remembering Hayn marched silently to the Lambda Chi Alpha’s house. While there, they lit candles and listened to the fraternity’s new president, Koval, speak.

Koval plans to carry on Hayn’s legacy as president of the fraternity. The group has established the Thomas Hayn Memorial Fund in the hopes of creating a scholarship in their friend’s name.

“He’ll never be forgotten,” Koval said.

Hayn is also survived by his father, Darrell, and his mother, Mary Ann.