A Western Kentucky University inducted 2011 Joplin High School graduate Will Norton, who died in the May 22 Joplin Tornado, as an honorary member this week:
It’s because of Norton’s story that David Serafini, a history instructor at WKU and the adviser of PSP, first organized a trip to Joplin to help with rebuilding efforts. The first trip was in June and the second followed in October during fall break.(Western Kentucky University Herald photo)
As Serafini watched the search for Norton unfold after the storm, he felt connected to the story, saying it brought out the big brother in him. Serafini began to learn about Norton, a YouTube star and budding filmmaker, and felt that he embodied the PSP tripod of scholarship, leadership and fellowship.
After returning from the second Joplin Run in October, Serafini said he proposed to the PSP officers making Norton an honorary brother of the fraternity. It was approved unanimously by the officers and then by the full chapter.
“We knew it was going to happen,” he said. “Joplin has become our project, I suppose, and we’ve all adopted Will in a way. He’s the reason why we go.”
During the initiation, Serafini stood in as Norton and signed the role book on his behalf.
The ceremony brought mixed emotions for Serafini and the fraternity. Despite the sadness, Serafini said he was proud and happy to make Norton an honorary brother.
“Now we must ensure that we tell Will’s story to each initiate class from here on out,” Serafini said.