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Senior HU Student Dies, Leaves Hundreds Mourning

Published: Monday, March 15, 2010

Updated: Monday, March 15, 2010 16:03

Davon Green

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Williams

A memorial was held Sunday in honor of Davon Franklin.


Photo Editor Bree Gant

Kyle Smith, Franklin's faternity brother shares his memories of Franklin during the memorial service.

The rain picked up as the stream of people gathered to cross The Yard late Sunday, March 15. The vigil for Davon Green Franklin, planned for 10:30 pm around the Howard University flagpole, was relocated into the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel under the leadership of Dean Bernard Richardson. As attendees flowed into the building, raindrops mingled with tears as sobbing students embraced.

Many were shocked to learn that Green Franklin, who was heard from as recently as early Sunday afternoon, had suffered a drowning accident in the early evening that day while on Spring Break in Cancun, Mexico. Green Franklin was a senior from Baltimore, Md. and an active member of the Howard community. At the vigil, members of the Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc., as well as members of the university's Campus Pals represented the organizations with which Green Franklin was most notably involved.

Known for an effervescent smile and positive outlook, he strived to learn lessons from everything he encountered. Through his account on popular social networking site Twitter, Green Franklin shared a message he gleaned from his surroundings early Sunday. "Life Lessons from the ocean water: the waves will pull you out further before they take you back to shore," he said.

Though little is known about the circumstances of the accident, those who attended the vigil made it known that they appreciated the time they spent with Green Franklin. Shoulders were lent for support around the chapel as looks of pensive disbelief clouded the faces of his loved ones. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff were all on hand, representing various campus organizations, including many of the Greek-lettered groups. On a campus known for its fashion savvy, it was clear that mourners disregarded stylish pretense and came as they were to honor Green Franklin's memory and support one another.

Melech Thomas, former Mr. Howard University, organized the event along with Howard University Student Association (HUSA) President Bryan Smart and Dean Richardson, to provide support for all those struggling with the news. "It's nothing too complex. It's just people coming together that have a similar heart that may be aching and grieving, right now," he said.

Dean Richardson, who simply asked "What do you do at a time like this?" requested that loved ones come and share their memories of a life that seemed to touch so many. After each story, Richardson told the crowd to join in saying "We remember you, Davon" or "We love you, Davon."

Norman Gyamfi, a fellow member of Xi Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi and Green Franklin's close friend, recalls being downtown when he heard the news and immediately calling his own mother. She told him that no one who believed in God is ever truly gone; a statement he is sure applies to Green Franklin, who was known to preach sermons with a passion not often found in one so young. Gyamfi said that his friend would not want those he left behind to spend their time grieving, but he would implore them to cherish the life they have and the loved ones still with them.

"Y'all is trippin'," he said Green Franklin would be saying with a smirk, "I lived a good life." Though Gyamfi was struck by the sudden nature of the incident, he urged the crowd to take a lesson from the event. "You could be living one moment, DMing, twittering, facebooking, whatever, and the next moment be gone," he said, adding that Green Franklin would want those he loved to continue to be the best that they could be, as he often reminded them.

Green Franklin was said to have been both a teacher and an encourager to those around him, regardless of age. "He was younger than all of us, but he would teach us and keep us on the right path," said Reginald Guy, another member of the Xi Chapter. The younger members of the fraternity also shared memories of what he had taught them.

"One thing Davon taught me that particularly resonates with me was to avoid the unhappy and unlucky," Calvin Simmons recalled. He also said that Green Franklin was selfless and reliable, always there when anybody needed him. "We need you now and we know you're here so just continue to be with us," he concluded.

Few details are available at the moment concerning memorial activities, but it is safe to assume that Green Franklin's presence will be missed by many.

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Wed Apr 21 2010 22:08
i was there at the drowning. i do not know this man at all. but i do know that he must be walking with God because he had a giant black cross tattooed across him chest. RIP
Sun Mar 28 2010 16:12
How very sad. My prayers, sympathy and best wishes go out to Davon's family, friends and classmates. Davon was obviously a wonderful young man and I am sure he will not be forgotten.

TJ in Cancun

The Taylors
Tue Mar 23 2010 17:10
To our Morningstar Brother & Sister - our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sun Mar 21 2010 17:13
When I met Davon he was about 15 or 16 years old and I could see he already had a purpose on his life. He was fearless and I admired that. I was so looking forward to see how God was going to use him as a Disciple, winning souls for the Kingdom. Gone to soon but I will forever remember him in my heart. See you later my Christian Brother Roslyn Y. Harris ( MSBC).
Fontaine & Marissa
Sat Mar 20 2010 09:27
My daughter worked with Davon at Old Navy and they both went to Howard around the same time. She brought this story to my attention. I was horrified hearing the news. She had sooo many wonderful things to say about this gentleman. She explained how his presence lifted a room and simply how sweet his soul was. My prayers go out to his family who are actually neighbors of ours in W.Mill. May God continue to strengthen you where you are weak and build you up where you are torn down during this time and always.
Fri Mar 19 2010 20:48
To Inez, Chavez, and the family,
We can not know how you are feeling during this difficult time and our words may not be enough to express our deepest sympathy. But, I do know that God can and will comfort. May you find peace and strength. I'm sure the memories of Davon will bring joy to your hearts. Know that you are in my prayers.
Tanya T
Fri Mar 19 2010 19:29
Davon you are forever in my thoughts. You always kept me company in our summer school courses at HU. We were the "super senior" crew that always made the best of our situation. You are deeply missed. I send love to your family.
Thu Mar 18 2010 16:04
James 4:14 "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

Love you Davon, and miss you.

This loss reminds me of our mortality, although we're young we never know when things can end. Special note to my Christians out there: don't wait to get right with God!

Nakiya Lee
Thu Mar 18 2010 11:39
I love you beyond words. my heart aches. i will never be able to explain the pain I feel, but what makes me feel remotely better is the fact that I was able to TRULY know while the selfish side of me mourns for you the other side is truly grateful and joyous to have walked this earth for only a short time with an angel like you.
Wed Mar 17 2010 23:27
I did not know this young man, but am deeply saddened by this story. Based upon what I've read, he was a wonderful young man whose life made a big difference in the world. I rejoice for the time that he was here. I will be keeping his family in my thoughts and prayers...I am sure this is a struggle for them.
Robert Savio
Wed Mar 17 2010 21:25
I did not know the deceased young man but I work with his father in Millersville, MD. Losing a child is the hardest thing any parent can endure and one must ask, how do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on? When in your heart you know there is no going back. There are some things that time can not heal, some wounds that go to deep, that have taken hold. May your faith sustain you in this most difficult time. I am truly sorry for your loss. God be with you.
Mia Harvey c/o 2004
Wed Mar 17 2010 13:37
To the family and friends of this young man. I pray that you will find peace in the midst of this storm, comfort in the arms of our Savior and joy in the knowledge that he that dies in Christ shall reside forever with him. God Bless you and know that every tear that you shed just fertilizes the groud in which God will create life once again.
Wed Mar 17 2010 13:21
/My prayers are with you Chavez and Inez. Min Carr
Wed Mar 17 2010 12:41
D. Bulluck, Winfield Ele.
Wed Mar 17 2010 11:42
Inez & Chavez, I never met your son, but I will always remember how Inez spoke so lovingly and proud about him and what type of son he was at work. You have my deepest sympathy.
Anthony L. Graham
Wed Mar 17 2010 10:14
To The Green Family: I am so sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences. I have a son Davon's age and I can't imagine your pain. Words cannot express the horror and sadness I felt as I read this article. Although I never met Davon, as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity inc., a graduate of Howard University and a resident of Glen Burnie, MD I feel as though we travelled in the same circles. He actually attended the same church as my ex-wife. She brought this tragedy to my attention. It seems as though Davon was a fine young man who was on the path of a very successful life. I'm sure this was in part due to the guidance and support of his loving family. Chapter Invisible is now truly blessed to have him as a member. I will keep your entire family in my prayers. God Bless.

Yours In The Bond,

Anthony L. Graham
Williamsburg (VA) Alumni Chapter
Spring '87
Howard University Alumnus
Class of 1985

Tue Mar 16 2010 22:21
He was my son and my brother! I shall miss him dearly!
Tue Mar 16 2010 21:17
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal
Rev Brandi Foyles & RCL Ministries
Tue Mar 16 2010 21:14


Tue Mar 16 2010 19:37
Chavez, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Shoppers 26

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