DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A University of Dayton student has died from complications from COVID-19.
In a letter from UD to university students, faculty and staff, President Eric Spina said Michael Lang, 18, a first-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences from LaGrange, Ill., died on Oct. 22 following a lengthy hospitalization. Lang left campus on Sept. 13 to return home for remote study.
Spina said UD extends its deepest sympathy and prayers to Lang’s family, friends, professors and the campus community.
The university held a vigil in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception Friday afternoon, allowing campus community members to light a candle of remembrance and to pray for Lang and all who grieve this loss.
The university said the family requested privacy and asked all to respect that request.
“He was just very energetic,” said Ryan Swanson, a freshman who said he had seen Lang on campus a few times earlier in the semester. “Very just fun-loving. He was just a nice guy.”
Several students on campus told 2 NEWS they were shocked by the announcement of Lang’s passing.
“This is the first time I’m hearing about it, and it’s definitely kind of surreal,” said Ryan Flynn, a junior.
“It’s still really sad and I think it’s a wake-up call to people who can get the disease and have it affect their lives this big,” said Nick Ferritto, another junior.
Some students told 2 NEWS they have seen more people on campus taking the virus seriously these past few weeks, with increased mask-wearing and social distancing.
But others said they don’t think students are following COVID-19 protocols enough and hope to see more people being careful.
“It’s really about keeping this community safe,” said Joella Methola, a first-year law student. “Us Flyers, I do feel like we are a family, but in order to be like that, we have to protect each other.”
University officials have not said exactly how long Lang had been hospitalized or if he was believed to have contracted the virus on campus or elsewhere.