After receiving word of Tuesday’s legal resolution in the Steven Agee case, NIU officials are extending gratitude to the Agee family for the grace they have continued to show over the last 16 months.
“We will forever remember Steven’s spirit and dedication to the NIU community, qualities that move us to honor his life and contributions. He wanted to improve the lives of everyone he met, to raise their aspirations for education and encourage their motivation,” said Eric Weldy, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at NIU.
“His family has shown great strength and resolve in the face of these challenges, and we are heartened to read that they have found peace and are ready to begin the healing process. Their determination to stay united and to move forward is a powerful example for us all.”
Among NIU’s tributes to Agee is an award in his name, which will be presented this month during the Student Choice Awards.
“I feel honored to have known Steven for over 20 years and hold dear those memories,” said NIU Student Trustee Elliot Echols, who was president of the NIU Student Association during the 2011-12 academic year. “He had a way of helping people around him that made all of us want to step up and contribute. Honoring his legacy through this award is one way to remember his spirit.”
During his time on campus, he joined several clubs and was an eager volunteer and mentor.
“I hope that his legacy will continue to influence people to reach out and to help people who may be less fortunate, and to add joy and laughter into the lives of everyone. You never know when it can be your last day,” Kimberly Agee said.
The family made frequent trips to campus during Agee’s time here, a pattern that has continued since his passing.
“Steven was in his senior year. We had a very close relationship, and if he needed something, it was nothing for me to get on the road and physically bring it to him. Some of the road trips there were to preserve a family structure of celebrating birthdays, and being of support to him. Our family was small in size but large with love,” she said.
The inspiration of his good works, and his humble spirit of service to others, preserves her connection to NIU.
“Steven did leave a legacy at Northern, as an individual and as a leader. He was a young adult capable of giving his last,” she said. “I want someone else to be able to identify with him as an individual and then be able to say, ‘If he did it, then I can do it.’ ”
Following his death, the Steven R. Agee II Scholarship Fund was established by his parents to provide financial support to graduating seniors from various high schools. Members of the Student Association also named a conference room in its Campus Life Building offices after Agee.