By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93
Phillip Payne had been accustomed to students coming to his office for advisement and then leaving afterwards. Tyler Davis, however, was not the like rest of the students.
Payne, Davis’s adviser and the history department chairman at St. Bonaventure University, recalls many times he sat in his office and chatted with Davis.
“I mean he was the type of student who liked to talk,” Payne said. “He would sit and chat and I’d see him in the hallways. We shared some common interests. He liked The Walking Dead, so after I advised, we would spend 20 minutes talking about The Walking Dead. He was that sort of kid.”
Davis, whose friends knew him as “Ty,” had a big interest in sports and comics, Payne said. He even worked at a comic book store in Rochester, N.Y. And he told Payne he thought the Bonaventure men’s basketball team would do well this year.
Davis was a very kind, sociable person who had many friends.
“It seems like he got along well with a lot of different people,” Payne said. “He had a range of interests that I think would kind of shift when he’d talk to people. He’d always seem to be walking around in a group and I’d see him oftentimes walking around with them.”
Some of the friends that lived on his floor knew Davis as the “alarm clock.” He would wake them up at the early morning hours of 11 and 12. He also was very playful; often messing around with his friends’ Facebook or Twitter.
His friends enjoyed playing pickup basketball with Davis. They said he always spoke of how he didn’t have much talent but he had heart – a quality that was also evident in his academics.
He was very into history and was also very smart. He just seemed to “get” college. But he never really told his professors what he wanted to do after graduation. And since he was a sophomore, it never really came up much in discussion, said Payne, who taught Davis in History 100, 201 and 202.
Payne wishes he would have gotten the opportunity to know Davis more on a personal level; a relationship that, with Davis’s friendliness, probably would have happened.
Two weeks ago, Davis passed away after leaving an off-campus party late at night.
The sophomore class is looking at ways to remember Davis. One of the top ideas is to create a bench engraved with the words “Let it Be.”
Many students have already warmed to the idea, and offered their help with fundraising for the project so Davis’s memory will not be forgotten.
Earlier this year, Davis recommended a handful of books and TV shows to Payne. It was a very rare occurrence in that Payne went and bought them.
But the earlier purchases now have another meaning.
Payne gets to think of Davis every time he picks up one of those books or turns on the TV and watches an episode of one of the series.