UCA and Conway community members gathered Sept. 4 at the Student Center Amphitheater to honor the life of junior Jacob Dylan Phillips, who died from a seizure Aug. 23 at age 20. Phillips is survived by his parents Bryan and Cheryl Phillips, his sister Hannah Phillips, his great-grandparents and many aunts and uncles.
Phillips was highly active on campus and affected many people in the community. He was a member of the Young Democrats and the Fisheries and Wildlife Society. Phillips was also president of UCA’s Phi Gamma Delta chapter and president and board member of Bear Den.
“Jacob was a very important part of this community,” President Houston Davis said at the memorial service. “He was a man of action [and]taking care of business.”
In addition to his involvement with the UCA community, Phillips was also working toward earning a bachelor of science in biology. He planned to become a pediatrician.
“He saw there was a need for children’s physicians. He absolutely loved kids,” Phillips’ father Brian Phillips said.
Pastor Everette Cornell Maltbia spoke at the memorial and suggested three ways students could honor the life of Phillips.
First, Maltbia said students should make right their wrongs in Phillips’ memory.
Maltbia’s second suggestion was to embrace forgiveness.
“Since we know life is short, since we know it is but a vapor, if you’re holding a grudge against anyone, take action and let it go.”
Third, Maltbia said to say the kind things that pop into your head, because you never know how kind words can affect someone positively.
Maltbia stressed that students should strive every day to leave as good of a legacy as Phillips did.
Memorial attendees were encouraged to write down happy moments that they shared with Phillips. Many mourners crowded around a table to share their memories.
Phillips left a positive legacy on campus, both in the form of loving memories with friends and in the changes he made at UCA by helping launch the Bear Den and being active in every organization he committed to.
“Jacob loved the University of Central Arkansas and I’m here to say that the University of Central Arkansas loved him,” Maltbia said.
The members of Phi Gamma Delta plan to establish a scholarship in Phillips’ name and will hang a photo in memory of him in the fraternity house.