Earlier this month, news of Miami sophomore Justin Briggs’ death shook the RedHawk community. Briggs was spending the 4th of July weekend with friends at Lake Anna in Virginia when he died.

In the days following his death on July 5th, word began spreading on social media of a campaign in his honor. Friends, strangers and Miami students came together, and quickly the Justin Briggs Memorial Fund had raised over $3,000.

Phil Ring, a Miami sophomore and fraternity brother of Briggs, organized the fundraising page.

“After the incident, we immediately knew we had to do something to honor him as his fraternity brothers,” said Ring. “On my way to the airport, I realized I could get something started and raise funds. I shared it with my brothers, and from there it grew.”

While Ring and fellow members of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity at Miami are unsure of what they’ll decide to do with the funds right now, they know it will be something that would’ve made Justin happy.

“We’re considering placing a bench or plaque somewhere on campus,” Ring said. “Justin always spent his free time on the front porch of one of the Phi Tau annex houses, and since it was his favorite spot we think it would be a great place to put a memorial for him.”

Ring said that they’re also hoping to give some of the proceeds to a project Briggs was working on to send money to Honduras.

Brian Browne, Director of Development for the Phi Kappa Tau Foundation, said the chapter has been keeping them up to date on the process.

“They’re really driving the process, it’s special to see and we’re glad they’re honoring the student who passed.”

In addition to his involvement with Phi Kappa Tau and his charity work, Briggs was also passionate about lacrosse. Ring said Briggs always had the habit of making everyone around him happier.

Despite being saddened by his death, his friends are choosing to remember him with positivity and joy.

“We shouldn’t mourn the loss of him, we should celebrate his life,” Ring said. “He always lived with enthusiasm. He’s just a great example of someone who loved life.”

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