REMEMBERING DENNIS

A smile.For all of those who had ever met Dennis Stuart Hayle, a smile was remembered. A smile that people seemingly couldn’t keep from their faces while talking with him, and yet he apparently couldn’t keep from his face when interacting with others. His smile was the first hint to the type of person he was.”I just keep thinking about his smile and the last conversation we had with each other,” said Eugene Banks, a senior business management major and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. “It still feels like he’s gonna call me or text me to go to the café. It kinda hit me on my way to class [Monday].  I wanted to call Dennis and I can’t because he just ain’t here no more. I just keep having conversations talking in his voice to myself and responding to it. I don’t know how to really deal with it right now. I just wish he was still here.”Hayle, a 22-year-old senior at A&T majoring in political science and criminal justice and native of Hempstead, N.Y., was shot and killed Sunday morning at 805 Homeland Avenue in the Campus Courtyard Apartment complex. Police found Hayle after responding to a phone call of a shooting at 3:35 a.m. Sunday, according to Greensboro police reports. An ongoing investigation regarding this case is being conducted by the Greensboro Police Department.”The University is heartbroken as the result of what occurred with Dennis Hayle,” said Chancellor Stanley Battle in a statement. “We will provide counseling and other support for all of our students, as well as his family. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family of Dennis Hayle.”Hayle, who crossed the Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated in the spring of 2008, has been described in unanimously as having the type of personality that could mend a broken heart. His vibrant character, both inside and outside of the classroom, exuded the very best in what A&T had to offer. He had been involved in a wide range of campus life activities from working in the Student Union to a being an active and valuable member of the Model United Nations.”It’s an emotional time in our department,” said Samuel Moseley, chairman of the political science and criminal justice department. “Because of recent political events and a renewed spirit and vigor that I’ve found in many students, he told me that he wanted to go to D.C. after he graduated in May. He had spoken with many of the faculty about looking at areas of legislative politics, but also at the idea of lobbying. He would want us to use this to motivate students. Motivate them to make the very best of their college education. Motivate them and carry out the kind of spirit that you found in him.”That spirit resonated throughout the people he touched. It was made obvious at the ‘Let’s Talk About Dennis’ event held Monday in the General Classroom Building’s auditorium. Every seat in the entire room was filled. After that happened, people lined the stairs and the walkways, both at the top of the auditorium and on the floor. When the entire floor was filled, people lined the doorways on both sides. But even more impressive than the hundreds of people, were the incredible stories they had to tell.  Anecdotes centered around everything from the classroom to women to bowtie’s. People’s stories had everyone laughing at one moment and crying at the very next.”Just being at the service last night, you could tell that people from his fraternity brothers to people who met him once, that he had a tangible impact on everybody that he came across,” said Jonathan McCoy, a senior mechanical engineering major. “It’s a shame it takes an event like this to bring people together and cause people to really reevaluate their perspectives on things.  But hopefully this will hit really close to people and they will not forget how important it is to cherish those around you and the opportunities you have in life every day at every moment.”It took very few moments since the bad news broke for his Facebook wall to begin being filled with posts ranging from simple rest in peace wishes to more detailed messages regarding more personal memories. Hundreds of status updates and profile pictures reflected the sentiments of the campus. “His smile warmed our hearts and his spirit lifted our minds,” said SGA President Marcus Bass. “Dennis challenges us, each of us, to become better individuals on a daily basis. Those who knew him understood his love for A&T and Omega Psi Phi. He personified the mission and purpose of his fraternity and he carried his legacy wherever he went.”

  • Malcolm S. Eustache