Alpha Xi Delta sorority holds vigil to honor the passing of a member

Photo by Adam Bridges

The Boise State community gathered at the heart of campus on Sunday, April 28, for a vigil hosted by the sorority Alpha Xi Delta to honor the passing of their sister Rachel Phillips.

The scene was a clothed table holding a photo of Phillips, two vases full of flowers, a scrapbook and a card. The scrapbook and card are to be sent to Phillips’ family and anyone in attendance was open to write in them. Multiple members of the community also went up throughout the vigil to place bouquets of flowers inside of the “B” to pay their respects.

Alpha Xi Delta’s chapter president, Faith Jackson, opened up the vigil by speaking about the heartbreaking event on behalf of her sorority.

“We know that tonight (Phillips) is looking down on all of uswith that big smile that she always had,” Jackson said.

Jackson then invited Allie Bleeker and Wendie Mone to share some prepared words for the vigil.

Bleeker was Phillips’ big in her sorority and talked about how amazing of a person Phillips was and how she was so sad to not be able to see Phillips reach her goal of becoming a lawyer.

“For those of you that don’t know Rachel was going to be a lawyer,” Bleeker said. “I don’t say she wanted to be a lawyer because I knew she was going to be one. She was driven and committed and I’ve never met someone so hardworking and strong-willed.”

After Bleeker and Mone spoke, Jackson offered the microphone up to anyone in attendance who wanted to speak of their favorite memories with Phillips.

A few members of the community, including Phillips’ roommates and sisters, shared their stories. 

Kiki Colicci shared a wholesome story where Phillips spontaneously decided to adopt a kitten off of Craigslist, despite residing in the dorms in the Honors College. Phillips loved her kitten as soon as she got it, naming him Arlo on the spot and refusing to let go of him throughout the drive back to campus.

“If you ever saw someone walking around Boise State with a cat in her backpack, that was (Phillips),” Colicci said. “You knew it was Rachel by that cat.”

She closed out by sharing how Phillips’ spirit reminds her of a cat and how every time she sees a cat, she thinks of Phillips.

“I just want to say people who pass kind of give us signs of how we see them in the world,” Colicci said. “Any time you see a cat, you see Rachel. Any time you see a cat, I want you to picture (Phillips) because she truly loved that cat.”

Alpha Xi Delta’s Vice President of Communications, Bailey Peterson, closed off the vigil thanking the community for attending and informing them about two opportunities to give back to Phillips’ family. 

Alpha Xi Delta made clothing with the sale proceeds going to the family. The design says “TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM” and is offered on a short-sleeved shirt and a crewneck. 

There is also a GoFundMe to help support Phillips’ family. The donation goal was set at $10,000 but has already received $17,170 from 380 donations as of April 30.

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