UM hosts community vigil for Daniel Bishop with music and memories

Students gather to honor Daniel Bishop’s life at his vigil on the University of Miami campus on Mar. 26, 2024. Photo credit: Cecelia Runner

The University of Miami community came together to celebrate the life of Daniel Bishop, a former mathematics and psychology senior major and active member of the student body, with a vigil at the Lakeside Patio.

The vigil took place on March 26, following Bishop’s death on the morning of March 4 after being struck by a car while commuting to campus on his scooter.

The first speaker was Rabbi Jason Cook, the current University of Miami Hillel Rabbi, who also hosted the ceremony.

University of Miami Rabbi Jason Cook speaks to the crowd at Daniel’s vigil on Mar. 26, 2024.

“Tonight, we take a few moments, perhaps inadequate moments, to remember, to reflect, to honor a legacy, to be present with each other,” Cook said.

Patricia Whitely, the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement, also gave opening remarks.

“We thank Daniel for the many many ways that he touched our lives and made our days better. Even the small moments spent with him will be cherished,” Whitely said. “He truly embodied a ‘Canes Care for ‘Canes attitude.”

Custom bandanas given out to attendees during Bishop’s vigil.

Psychology lecturer Hillary Hoffman spoke of Bishop’s heavy involvement in class and strong opinions in one of her statistics and research classes.

“At the same time that Danny was strong in what he thought, he was very well-spoken, courteous, respectful. He had a gentle manner. I was honored to have him in my class. Danny had the greatest of futures,” said Hoffman.

In addition to UM faculty, friends and fellow student leaders also offered their reflections on Bishop’s life. While Bishop was involved in many different organizations at UM, one common thread between his involvements was his enthusiasm, school spirit and inclusive nature.

Jenny Rivas, a sophomore majoring in psychology, was the first student to speak. As a fellow President’s 100 Student Ambassador, Rivas and Bishop went through training meetings together and were often giving tours at the same time.

“His love for this university and the effort that he put into every single thing that he did, truly inspired others,” Rivas said. “I know for a fact that any family that had the honor of having him as a tour guide felt his warmth and devotion simply from the first sentence he said.”

As the Chair of Hurricane Productions, the largest student programming board at UM, Bishop led the HP Executive Board.

Bella Jimenez, a senior majoring in microbiology and immunology who serves on the HP E-Board at the ‘Canes Night Live Chair, spoke of Bishop’s commitment to and enthusiasm for HP.

“Daniel truly embodied what it means to be a part of HP through his spirit, passion and motivation to make UM’s student experience unforgettable. He set the standard,” Jimenez said.

Bishop was also a member of It’s On Us, an organization helping to educate the UM community on sexual misconduct and connect students to resources. Sydney Hill, a junior majoring in music industry and a marketing chair for It’s On Us, talked about Bishop’s commitment to the organization and UM as a whole.

“He was engaged in every meeting, bringing helpful suggestions to our programming events and merchandising ideas,” said Hill. “Although way too soon, Danny left the university with such a profound impact and without a doubt, better than he found it.”

On top of his other commitments, Bishop was an Orientation Leader (OL) with the Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement (OCSI). Lauren Tierney, a senior majoring in neuroscience. Tierney was a Program Coordinator with OSCI while Bishop was an OL and talked about his infectious energy and how dedicated he was to making students feel welcomed.

“Daniel offered a friendly face to students at all times. If there were ever students sitting alone in the dining hall, or nervously observing from the outskirts of a social event, Daniel was the first person to introduce himself and help the student to feel included and comfortable,” Tierney said.

Through his many involvements, Bishop was a very visible presence on campus and helped to enhance the student experience.

“Whether Daniel was the first person you ate lunch with on campus, the smiling face swiping your ‘Cane Card at check-in or an exclamatory ‘woohoo’ during ‘Cane Kickoff, I know that Daniel significantly impacted the lives of so many students on campus,” Tierney said.

Bishop was also a volunteer and teaching fellow with Breakthrough Miami, who has had a UM-embedded program for 32 years. Breakthrough CEO Lori-Ann M. Cox spoke of Bishop’s passion for education.

“Our Breakthrough Miami village will forever lift you up, look to you, and be inspired by all that you were. We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of your journey,” said Cox.

Before his passing, Bishop secured a teaching position with Gulliver Preparatory Academy, where he was set to teach mathematics to secondary-level students this upcoming fall.

After the reflection portion of the ceremony, Guiellermo Prado, the Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, and Leonidas G. Bachas, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, gave closing remarks, where he talked about the large turnout for the candlelight vigil held for Bishop on Mar. 5 in the Whitten University Center.

“I was so amazed by the number of students who came in. They knew him from HP, they knew him from President’s 100, but everyone was talking about how their lives had been touched,” Bachas said.

To close out the ceremony, Jasmine Harris and Jake Sonderman of HP Patio Jams performed Enchanted by Taylor Swift, one of Bishop’s favorite artists, while everyone in attendance held candles.

The UM Counseling Center is available 24/7 to support the needs of students experiencing grief during this difficult time. They can be found on the third floor of ‘Canes Central on campus or can be reached at (305) 284-5511.