St. Thomas President Fr. James Murphy, CSB joined with the extended campus community in mourning the passing of Andreas Giannitsopoulos ’18, the esteemed St. Thomas scholar-athlete who perished during the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South, a 12-story oceanfront condominium tower just north of Miami Beach.
“On behalf of the entire St. Thomas family, I express our deepest condolences and pray that Andreas’ loved ones may find God’s grace and solace after so shattering a loss,” Fr. Murphy said. “Hearts are broken. We are all reminded that life is both precious and fragile.”
Giannitsopoulos was a remarkably talented undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University studying business strategy and international markets. He is among the permanent members of the St. Thomas Club – preeminent scholars with a minimum 4.0-grade point average for seven consecutive semesters. Giannitsopoulos also excelled as a prominent performer for Eagle Track and Field. As a sophomore, his second-place result in the shot put and fourth place in the discus were valuable contributions for the breakthrough 2016 TAPPS 6A state champions. He then finished fifth in the discus and seventh in the shot at the 2017 state meet.
The outpouring of compassion in the wake of this immeasurable loss has been profound. While shocked and saddened, the St. Thomas community has galvanized to provide pillars of support and comfort during the grieving.
“Andreas was a shining star who exemplified our Basilian motto of Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge,” Murphy says. “Our Eagle mascot represents soaring and that’s how Andreas will be remembered. He was passionate and focused, his future limitless. His supreme standard will inspire those within our ranks for years to come.”
Vanderbilt issued the following statement:
“We extend our deepest condolences to Andreas’ family, friends, classmates and faculty as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy. Our thoughts continue to be with all affected by the disaster as they await news of their loved ones and mourn those lost. We have been closely following the situation in Surfside, Fla., and have reached out to Andreas’ family to offer support.”
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Catholic. Basilian. Teaching Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge since 1900.