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The Observer remembers Declan Sullivan

| Friday, October 29, 2010

“Enthusiastic” best describes Scene contributor Declan Sullivan.

Declan was enthusiastic about music and film, wasn’t afraid to jump on a challenging story, strove to come up with interesting twists on arts and entertainment reporting, and always brought energy to the room.

Declan often used his knowledge and training from the Department of Film, Television and Theatre to come up with new leads or provide specialized insight in his writing. He had a laid-back personality, but he still jumped at the opportunities to secure an interview with artists like Shwayze and comedians like Mike Birbiglia and Michael Ian Black.

He was a friend to many people on The Observer staff, and he will be sorely missed. Selections from his Scene work are provided here, along with memories from his coworkers at The Observer.

– senior Jordan Gamble, Scene Editor

 

“Although I knew him only briefly, Declan lit up any room he was in for more than 30 seconds. His personality was contagious, and I couldn’t help but gravitate toward someone with a passion for life. I will miss your fearlessness and one-of-a-kind sense of humor. You will never be forgotten in the basement of South Dining Hall.”

– junior Chris Masoud, Assistant Sports Editor

 

“Declan was definitely the quintessential Scene writer, always laid-back and fun to be around but ambitious and enthusiastic about what he wrote. He was always excited to take on challenging interviews that others might find intimidating and his articles were full of creative twists, so there was never a dull moment while editing his work. He was a unique soul, and he will be deeply missed.”

– junior Alexandra Kilpatrick, Assistant Scene Editor

 

“Declan was a friendly and animated presence in the Observer office. I never saw him without a smile. He will be greatly missed.”

– senior Packy Griffin, Scene Writer

 

“Editing on a night when Declan was writing always had an air of mystery in it. What exactly is he going to turn in? He had a unique way of expressing his thoughts and opinions about movies, music and everything in-between. His stories were far from conventional. His voice was totally unique and very pervasive in his work. Scene has lost a writer who always kept us from being stale. You will be missed, Declan.”

– junior Maija Gustin, Associate Scene Editor

 

“I went back and read some of the articles Declan wrote for The Observer. Some of them I now remember reading earlier this year, sitting in South Dining Hall, admiring and being inspired by the work of other Scene writers. To think that we’ve lost Declan so soon is truly heartbreaking.”

– freshman Ward Pettibone, Scene Writer

 

“I met Declan my first week of freshman year. Walking into my Theo 101 class, I had no idea what to expect. As I took a seat in the back of the classroom, I took stock of the people around me, unaware of the impact they would have on my life and the friendships we would form. Declan was one of those people.

We quickly formed a bond during that class, and although we ran in different circles, we would often find time to meet up, even after the semester ended. Declan had a way of always making you smile, and no matter how long it had been since he had seen you, he always greeted you with a hug and a genuine inquiry into how your life was going. His signature laugh brightened a room. It was hard to hang out with him and not just love the life you were living.

He will be a sorely missed face on campus, and I cherish every moment that we spent together and every moment that made me laugh.”

– junior Mary Claire O’Donnell, Scene Writer

 

“I officially met Declan the second week of our freshman year, and we had been friends ever since. The first time we met was when a mutual friend introduced us outside of CoMo. I introduced myself, and he forgot my name about fifteen seconds later. I always knew he felt awful about that incident because he always made sure to say “Hello, Molly!” every other time we met up for the next two years. I’ll never forget the money party in Fisher with Declan and his friends freshman year. Campus just feels different without him here. He was an unbelievably kind person and a good friend.”

– junior Molly Sammon, Assistant Sports Editor

 

“Although I did not know Declan personally I am familiar with his work as I have created graphics to accompany his articles on the Scene page over the years. I believe I speak on behalf of the entire graphics department – staff members past and present – when I say that his honest, upbeat, humorous articles will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

– senior Blair Chemidlin, Graphics Editor

 

“As members of the Notre Dame community, we are all deeply saddened by the news about Declan. It is always sad when a life is cut short at such a young age. We pray that his soul may rest in peace and we also pray for his family in this difficult time.”

– senior Cornelius Rogers, Scene Writer

 

“I met Declan at an Observer party last year and could tell immediately that he was a genuine person. He wasn’t afraid of just being himself. He was the kind of person who didn’t take things too seriously, had a great sense of humor and just wanted to have fun. He brought smiles and laughs to so many on this campus. Declan, you will be dearly missed.”

– junior Sara Felsenstein, News Production Editor

 

“(What) I remember about him was his insistence on attempting to sneak swear words into his articles, giving the whole office a good laugh every time editing his work, secretly wishing we could leave in what he wrote originally. What a horrible, horrible loss.”

– junior Marissa Frobes, Assistant Scene Editor

 

“I’ll always miss Declan’s carefree attitude, the way he badly danced like no one was watching him and sang off-key at the top of his lungs like no one was listening. He was one of the funniest guys I’ll ever know and I’ll miss him.”

– Chris Hine, class of 2009, Editor-in-Chief emeritus

 

 

Anyone who would like to share their own memories of Declan can e-mail Jordan Gamble at jgamble@nd.edu