Luv Gang: Albion Community Remembers Zachary Winston

At Briton Madness, Zach Winston holds up a “1” as others in the room around him, including brother Khy Winston, a first year, clap and cheer. Members of Albion's community remember Winston for moments like this, where his bright smile and energy were palpable to those around him (Photo by Patrick Smoker).

With the recent loss of Zachary Winston, a prominent member of our campus and our community, and with it being a high point in the semester for stress, today’s articles are being released together with the idea of taking care of oneself and others in mind.

In memory of Zachary Winston, The Albion Pleiad asked some of Winston’s friends, teammates, coworkers and professors to speak about the impact he had on their lives. 

During Winston’s vigil, held on Nov. 11 at Goodrich Chapel, the phrase “Luv gang” was expressed by students to commemorate Winston’s positive impact on the people around him. 

Winston, along with his two brothers and father, had the phrase tattooed across his wrist as a reminder of their love for each other. “Luv gang” is an acronym that stands for laughter, unification, value, genuine, affection, noble, and giving. 

Alexis Perdue, sophomore from Detroit

“He was such a selfless person and literally put everyone’s needs before his,” said Perdue. “He was the most caring person I knew and there was never a time you didn’t see him walking around smiling.” 

Perdue explained that every day he greeted her with a smile and many compliments in the math class they shared together. 

“That’s what I will miss the most,” said Perdue. 

Akaiia Ridley, sophomore from Albion, Mich.

“I would have considered Zach as being a good friend of mine,” said Ridley. “Every time he saw me, he would come up to me, give me a hug and ask ‘How are you?’ There is not a day that goes by where I’m not sitting at the dow waiting to see his big smile walk through that door. His smile shined bright on this whole campus, and I will remember him forever.”

Domonic McDonald, sophomore from Albion, Mich.

“Zach was always a good soul from the first day I met him,” said McDonald. “He was always positive, and I am happy I was a part of the major impact he had on campus. Fly high my guy.”

Zoey Dorman, first-year from Traverse City, Mich.

“There’s a quote by Laura Klarfield that says, ‘Remember that people are only guests in your story – the same way you are only a guest in theirs – so make the chapters worth reading,’” said Dorman. “Everyone who was lucky enough to know Zach as a guest in their story has at least a chapter worth reading.” 

John Carlson, accounting professor

“I knew Zach for two months. He was a student in my accounting class. He always came to class. Always sat in the front row,” said Carlson. “Within a week or so, we got to talking about something we both loved. It wasn’t accounting: It was basketball. It became a young man versus old man argument for the two months I knew him. We had fun playing around. I enjoyed the kid.”

Joi Curry, first-year from Detroit

“Never say goodbye,” said Curry. “There could be no goodbye for us. It’d be too painful dear. Our connection still lives on, although you’re far from here. I miss the times that we once had, but one day, once again, I’ll hold you close and laugh with you. I just wish I knew when each moment till that day arrives, until my time is through. I’ll miss you more than words can say and always think of you. I’ll look for you among the stars and each dawn’s pastel sky and whisper words of love to you, but say goodbye.” 

J’nai Honor, sophomore from Detroit

“If you had ever seen Zach, then you knew he was always smiling. But if you knew Zach, you knew he was good at hiding things. But no matter what, he would always come to you with open arms for a hug, even if you didn’t want one. I can’t help but to thank him for that because I needed those hugs, even if I didn’t admit it. It made some of my bad days better,” said Honor. “I appreciated Zach for more than he may have known. He always hyped me up, we had a ton of inside jokes, which gave me a reason to smile, our intellectual conversation and so much more. I will miss hearing him call me ‘black magic’ or ‘blunts’ or him calling me for snacks and food and the overall chance of just hearing his voice, his laugh, or seeing his smile. I want to thank him for our friendship though and for being him.”

Jontaj Wallace, senior from Albion

“Zach was one of the most genuine people I’ve met,” said Wallace. “He was kind, self-less, and such a positive light in the tour guide office. He made each tour and each day at work this summer fun. His smile will live on forever.”

Emily Eggenberger, junior from Alma, Mich.

Eggenberger tweeted about Winston’s vigil. She witnessed the packed rows and walls filled with people to pay their respects to Winston and his family. She tweeted this as a testament to how many people Zach touched. 

“Standing room tonight, Zach,” tweeted Eggenberger, “If only you could have known how greatly you were loved and how deeply you would be missed #luvgang.”

For more quotes in commemoration of Zachary Winston, visit @thealbionpleiad or search for “#luvgang” on Twitter.

Co-written by Irene Corona Avila, Aura Ware and Zahra Ahmed

About Irene Corona-Avila 48 Articles
Irene is a fourth-year student and a prideful Georgia Peach from Atlanta. She is a biochemistry major with a minor in . Aside from running and writing, you can find Irene dancing freely or talking up a pun. She's currently reading a book on gravity, but she can't seem to put it down.

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