Chapman University to honor tornado victim Will Norton
Chapman University will remember Will Norton, the incoming freshman film major from Joplin, Mo. who died in the May 22 tornado that struck that city, with a memorial event in his honor this August during fall Orientation Week, Chapman President Jim Doti announced today. President Doti also said that Norton’s name will be inscribed on the Wall of Student Honor in the Chapman University Columbarium.
The 18-year-old budding filmmaker had been accepted into Chapman’s highly competitive Dodge College of Film and Media Arts as a film production major, and would have started classes when the fall semester begins this August. During the EF5 tornado that devastated Joplin on May 22, Norton, who was driving back home from his high school graduation with his father, was pulled out of the sunroof of their vehicle by the force of the storm. After a days-long search, his body was finally discovered in a pond near where the vehicle had flipped.
“In spite of fading hopes that Will would be found alive, the finality of his loss was truly tragic,” said President Doti. “The fact that he will not be joining our university this August means that our learning community has lost a vibrant and original spirit. The hearts of everyone in our Chapman community go out to Will’s family and friends in this time of immeasurable loss.”
Further details of the memorial event and Wall of Honor inscription will be released as plans are finalized.