BY: EMILY LAHR
Franciscan University’s first dance of the year was more than just a crazy night of wild costumes and great music; it was a night to remember the joy of a Franciscan University of Steubenville alumnus, Tyler Peltier.
“We decided that we should do this for Tyler,” said Jeff Coen, a senior and member of the Disciple household. “The dance will be dedicated to rejoice.”
On June 30, Peltier passed away of a sudden heart condition and the dance became something more.
More than 500 students filled the Atrium in the J.C. Williams Center on Friday, September 7, in crazy outfits as the Disciples household honored their deceased household brother, Peltier, who graduated in May with a theology degree. Coen said they didn’t want to limit the theme but wanted people to come as they were and to rejoice for Peltier.
Originally the current Disciple’s coordinator, Griffin McHaffie, volunteered last spring to DJ a dance. The Disciples had never hosted a dance before and Coen said McHaffie has a passion for dance parties.
“It hit us hard when he passed away,” said Coen. “But it brought us closer together.”
Peltier was only weeks away from a mission trip in Africa where he would be filming documents and offering missionary service. He graduated Franciscan with a theology degree but he had a passion for media and thought he could somehow combine the two in evangelizing.
“He had a talent for filming documents,” said Coen.
Only nine days before he died, he had bought his airplane ticket to Blantyre, Malawi, where he planned to live and serve for the upcoming year.
Coen said the money the Disciples made from the dance will be going to Peltier’s parents who will redirect the funds to their son’s mission trip in Africa.
Coen said he was impressed to see so many students come out to support Peltier. They advertised by passing out balloons with scripture on them and opened doors for people at the cafeteria during the Friday dinner. They also performed two flash mobs in the JC Williams Center that week to promote their dance.
Coen said the Disciples were grateful to all who came for Peltier. He said the greatest part of the night was seeing the joy on everyone’s faces and seeing the responses.
“It was neat to see the communion of the saints between Tyler and us,” said Coen.