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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sept. 14, 2012

Northwest remembers student; memorial fund set up

Updated: 8:03 p.m. Sept. 15, 2012

Northwest Missouri State University is mourning the loss of one of its students as the result of an alleged assault.

The Maryville Public Safety Department is investigating the assault, which occurred at about 1:20 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14, near the corner of Fourth and Market streets in Maryville. 

Northwest student Tomarken Smith was injured during the incident and transported from the scene by a Nodaway County ambulance to St. Francis Hospital and Health Services. He was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries at about 2:21 a.m.

Details of the investigation are being handled by Maryville Public Safety and the Nodaway County prosecuting attorney. Charges of second degree murder have been filed against two individuals who are from Bethany. These individuals are not Northwest students.

Smith, 21, of St. Louis, was a senior corporate recreation/wellness major with a minor in coaching. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, a former resident assistant on the Northwest campus and a current student employee at the University fitness center.

In a statement to media, the Smith's fraternity said, “The Missouri Lambda Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon is deeply saddened by the loss of our brother, Tomarken Smith, a 21-year-old senior, who died last night. The chapter extends its heartfelt condolences to his family. This is a very tough time for all of us. Please offer your thoughts and prayers for family, friends, brothers and the campus community as we struggle to cope with this tragic loss.” 

Many Northwest students and employees as well as alumni and community members have indicated a desire to support Tomarken Smith’s family. The Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Board has set up a fund to assist Tomarken’s family. Monetary donations may be made to:

Tomarken Smith Memorial Fund
c/o Citizens Bank and Trust
105 N. Main St.
Maryville, MO 64468

In addition, Smith's family has asked that cards and notes be collected and sent to them in a single mailing. Anyone who wishes to do so should provide such correspondence to Northwest’s Office of Campus Activities, located on the second floor of the J.W. Jones Student Union. The office will collect these items between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Counseling services are available to Northwest students and employees by calling 660.562.1348. Anyone who needs assistance during weekend hours is encouraged to call University Police at 660.562.1254. The University Wellness Center also will be open from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16, for face-to-face counseling interactions with Northwest students.

Dr. Tim Crowley, director of Personal Development and Counseling Services at Northwest, led a session Friday afternoon in the J.W. Jones Student Union Living Room where students, faculty and staff gathered to share their memories of Smith. The Northwest community also gathered Friday night at the Memorial Bell Tower for a candlelight vigil organized in Smith’s memory by the University’s fraternities and sororities.

A moment of silence in memory of Smith was observed before Friday night’s Northwest volleyball game and Saturday’s Bearcat football game.

A campus bell ringing will be coordinated at a later date, according to the wishes of Smith’s family. More information, including funeral arrangements, will be released as it becomes available.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468