The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024

Urbanovsky endowment exceeds goal

 
 

Luke Urbanovsky died in a car accident on June 16, 2012, at the age of 19, but his family – both biological and Aggie – has ensured his memory will live on.
The “Luke Urbanovsky MSC FISH Endowment,” formed after Luke’s death, has now raised $35,000 – $10,000 more than the original goal – with donations from friends, relatives and Aggies. The money raised for the endowment fund will go to support MSC FISH (Freshmen in Service and Housing), a freshman leadership organization with an emphasizes on community service that Luke was a member of.
Luke was one of 80 freshmen chosen to participate in MSC FISH his freshman year. His girlfriend Charley Taggart, a junior psychology major and the current executive director of MSC FISH, said the organization changed Luke into a more service-minded individual, an occurrence common for many members of the organization.
“They come in, and they end up learning how to serve others without receiving in return, and that’s pretty much what our goal is – to give back to this community and this university without receiving in return,” Taggart said.
Luke’s mother Connie Urbanovsky said the outpouring of “love and support” from the university, especially the members of MSC FISH, was vital after Luke’s death, and that the family “couldn’t have gone through this without them.” Sixty to 65 members of MSC FISH attended the funeral, she said.
“One night, they were all in Luke’s room,” Connie said. “Probably 15 of them all spent the night in the room. Just wonderful kids. I can’t say enough about the type of friends that Luke was associated with, but he was that type of kid too.”
This is her “Aggie family,” Connie said. William Muessig, a sophomore kinesiology major and friend of Luke’s, said though Connie lost a son, she has gained many of what she calls “Aggie kids.”
“They really encompass the Aggie spirit and they call us their Aggie family,” Muessig said. “Whenever Connie texts us, she calls us her ‘Aggie kids.’ It really makes us feel so good to know she wants us to be involved and to keep us in the know.”
Immediately after the accident, Connie said her oldest son, Josh, wanted a way to memorialize his brother. After making a few phone calls and much discussion, family and friends decided to create an endowment fund to benefit MSC FISH, an organization Luke was not only passionate about, but that Connie said held a “special place” in the family’s hearts.
The family originally set the funding goal for $25,000, unsure that there would be a way to reach it. Through donations and a benefit concert put on by Josh, the goal was met and exceeded.
“To tell you the truth, when we looked at $25,000 we thought that was an impossible goal,” Connie said. “We really were like, ‘There is no way we’re going to do this,’ and we did it in a year. That speaks a lot. It speaks a lot of Luke, but it also speaks a lot of College Station and A&M and the kids who attend.”
Childhood friend and junior petroleum engineering major Kirk Wallace said the creation of the endowment fund was the perfect way to memorialize his best friend. Luke was passionate about many things at A&M, he said, but MSC FISH stood out among the rest.
“I felt like it was a really cool way to carry on his legacy, especially because it was an organization that he was very passionate about,” Wallace said. “Every time I was with him he would say something about MSC FISH.”
Taggart said this would not only benefit incoming freshman, but also the community and University the organization provides more than 5,000 service hours for each year. She said she believed Luke “would be so proud” of the endowment fund’s outcomes.
By helping fund a service organization, Connie said she hoped this would not only honor her son, but also help create individuals committed to volunteerism.
“My whole take on this is if you can teach the kids to want to give and volunteer, then that’s what they’ll do,” Connie said. “It’s almost like we’re developing kids who are going to go out and help in the future. Instead of just helping the people who need help, we’re actually trying to provide a foundation for people to learn to do that.”
Connie said this caring spirit was inherent in her son, along with his constant smile and unflagging optimism. Both she and Muessig said Luke was a presence that could be felt every time he entered a room.
“He was funny, he was outgoing, he was loud, he could make you laugh, he could make you want to punch him, he was all the above,” Muessig said. “He was everybody’s friend.”
Taggart said he had more confidence than anyone she had ever met.
“He just kind of bounced up the stairs,” Taggart said, on first meeting Luke on the steps of the Rudder Tower. “The kid literally acts like he had it all together all the time. He was on top of the world. He is the definition of not caring what people thought.”
Whether he was delivering oranges and juice as the self-declared “soccer mom” for a friend’s intramural soccer team or completing service projects, Taggart said Luke cared about making a positive difference much more than creating an “image.”
“I know people exaggerate things after people die,” Taggart said. “A lot of people do that, but I really feel like nobody has in this situation. He truly had a heart for people. He loved everybody – he gave everybody the benefit of the doubt.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *