Nearly a year after his death, Boston University alumnus Kyle Trotman lives on in those he knew and loved, said College of Communication junior Dexter McCoy.
“Today, we are here to celebrate the life and memory of our friend, brother and mentor Kyle,” McCoy said to a crowd of more than 80 people in Marsh Chapel. “As long as we live, Kyle lives. Kyle is me and Kyle is you.”
Members of the BU community honored Trotman’s memory at a memorial service Saturday afternoon. Trotman, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in May 2011, died of heart failure in December 2011 at the age of 22.
During his collegiate career, Trotman worked at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground as a Cultural Mentorship Program student ambassador and worked for a program called 100 Black Men Who Care About BU. He graduated with a degree in economics and was hired last October as a IFR research analyst for home equity and multiple issues at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Brooklyn, NY.
“By 22, Kyle created a legacy for himself, something a lot of young folks can emulate,” said Reggie Gill, Trotman’s uncle. “We sent you [him] a boy, you [he] returned a man.”
Gill said Kyle had been like a son to him. He recalls his nephew loving his time at BU and looking after the people he met there.
“He has left us physically, but he is here in spirit,” he said during the ceremony. “The pain is very tough … but we want to thank you all for being a part of his life.”
Sarah Doyle, a 2011 CAS graduate, said she got to know Trotman while the two worked at orientation during the summer of 2010. She described Trotman as a paradigm in the BU community.
“Kyle was one of the best BU had to offer and one of the best our world had to offer,” said Sarah Doyle, a 2011 CAS graduate, during the ceremony.
Doyle said Trotman came to see the people he met at BU as “brothers and sisters” of his.
“Kyle’s heart was too big,” she said. “It was too much to offer for small doses of friendship.”
Even in memory, she said, Trotman serves as an example for others on how to live life.
“Kyle lived such a good life,” she said. “He left so much for us and affected us in so many ways … Try to live like Kyle did. I think that will make him proud.”
The Inner Strength Gospel Choir sang at the memorial, and at the end of the ceremony the BU Band led a procession to a reception at the HTC.
The memorial service was scheduled to allow students a chance to pay their respects, said HTC Director Katherine Kennedy.
“He died two days after Christmas,” she said. “A lot of students weren’t aware, and while more than 100 students came to his funeral, so many more couldn’t.”
R. Joshua Reynolds, a Metropolitan College student and College of Fine Arts alumnus, told The Daily Free Press in an interview that Kyle embodied the world “awesome” throughout his life.
Gill said in an interview that Trotman’s legacy of loving other people will live on.
“People more so mattered to Kyle than anything,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why he spent his time in the HTC … His people skills were exemplary. The HTC provided an opportunity to meet other people and he loved that.”