A tragedy struck the College campus April 8, 2006 — Zachary Vaughan, a member of the Class of 2007, fell from the roof of Monroe Hall while watching the sun rise.
p. This past September, a group of Vaughan’s friends banded together to form a scholarship in his memory. They created the group Colorblind, which has already made its presence felt on the College campus, despite being in existence for only seven months. Its goal is to raise $50,000 to start a scholarship fund by holding events that will both raise money and unify the campus in memory of Vaughan.
p. “We want to hold events that will create a sense of Zach’s spirit on campus,” senior Kate Woodley, the stewardship chair said. From its first event, a date auction, the group has been successful at raising money and awareness of just who Zach Vaughan was.
p. Other events this year have been a “What Not to Wear” dance party (held in Trinkle Hall), a bocce tournament, participation in William & Mary Invites, hosting an Aromas Night and a letter-writing campaign.
p. Up next is an Easter egg hunt, with 2,000 eggs hidden throughout Old Campus this Sunday, Easter morning — the one-year anniversary of Vaughan’s death. According to sophomore Julia Curtis, the publicity chair, some of the eggs will contain money and some will even hold gift certificates. The grand prize is a gift certificate to the Blue Talon Bistro.
p. Sophomore Dan Gormally, president of Colorblind, believes the group has a lot of potential. “A lot of this year was just getting our feet wet.” Gormally said. “Next year, we want to repeat everything and add more.” He promises a new event next year entitled “Mold Your Campus,” which will feature PlayDoh.
p. The success of Colorblind depends on the group members. Currently, there are about 100 extended members, with a central group of around 15 to 20. The group is open to anyone, whether they knew Vaughn or not. “We are very open to ideas; nothing is set in stone,” Gormally said. The meetings are held in Tucker 202 every Wednesday at 8 p.m.
p. According to sophomore John Barlow, treasurer of Colorblind, many students do not understand the purpose of the group.
p. “Sometimes people think we are all about colorblindness,” he said. Vaughan was not colorblind; rather, it was his wide range of interests and his eclectic style that gave the group its name.
p. “Zach was a white guy in the African-American Coalition, was in Young Democrats and College Republicans,” Gormally said. Colorblind’s stated goal is to unite everyone on campus, an eclectic mix of people.
p. So far, Vaughan’s scholarship fund has already reached $37,000 — well beyond Colorblind’s first-year goal. The scholarship has been recognized by the College and will be implemented in the fall of 2007; the scholarship will be awarded to a student studying abroad who has a “colorful personality.”
p. Last weekend, the College dedicated benches in the Crim Dell meadow in memory of Vaughan, a place where Colorblind’s members hope everyone will feel comfortable relaxing, remembering Vaughan and taking a nap. The plaque includes a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not be too timid in your actions, for all life is an experiment.” That is how Vaughan lived his life, and that sums up Colorblind’s goal.