The body of SIU student Mahlik J. Harris was found in the water of a South Side beach in Lake Michigan Thursday.
Harris had gone swimming with family at 9 p.m. Wednesday and went missing.
He had been in Chicago for a family reunion, but lived in Carbondale where he worked at a nursing home.
Harris graduated from Kenwood High School in 2008 and attended SIUC until 2011.
He studied advertising and was a member of the water polo team. He was using the money he received from his summer work to pay for his senior year of college and would then pursue a career in the music industry after graduation.
Crushon Loving Jr., a senior studying criminal justice from Chicago, said the two met at Schneider Hall when Harris was just a freshman and had been friends ever since.
Loving said Harris spent a lot of his time making music and was very passionate on the subject. He said Harris was very popular around campus as well, and people have been heavily discussing his death over twitter.
“It’s sad looking on twitter and seeing the rest of the people that knew him, but it makes you more happy realizing that in the short time that he was here he was able to touch people’s lives,” Loving said.
Robert Gray, SIUC police chaplain, said nobody has suggested a memorial to him yet, but if anyone was interested to hold one he wouldn’t hesitate on the matter.
Gray said if Harris’ family would like to attend, a memorial could be held sometime after his funeral.