A memorial event was held at USC for Victor McElhaney, the music student who was tragically shot and killed in an attempted robbery near campus.
From performing his last arrangement, to playing a jazz combo on the drum set, this was a celebration of Victor McElhaney.
“He was serious. Smile would light up a room. He could swing on the drums, but he could be funky too. After all, he was from Oakland,” Peter Erskine, a faculty member at USC’s Thornton School of Music, said.
More than 600 people filled the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom to honor the 21-year-old who left this world too soon.
“One of the things they say is, you truly die when you’re forgotten. Judging by his room, Victor will never ever die,” faculty member Aaron Serfaty said.
Victor’s parents, including Oakland city councilwoman Lynette Mcelhaney got a rousing round of applause.
“I’m grateful. Lot of pain but I’m still grateful,” Victor’s dad, Clarence, said, thanking everyone for the love and support. “It is hard to say goodbye, but if you know Victor, he was an infectious kid. Too smart for his own britches.”
Aside from being a Jazz Studies major, Victor spent his time mentoring his peers and was a community activist.
“I just saw him last Thursday in class. He lives on,” friend Kristian Emel said.
The Black Alumni Association chose to honor the creative star by naming the student scholarship for the 2019-2020 year in his honor.