Sean Price shares the inspiration behind the RADical Hope logo
Weekend. Those six days were long. They required constant energy and even some manual labor. However, Chris lifted the 30 other students we were working with. He provided constant levity and optimism, making the tedious parts of orientation fun, and the fun moments unforgettable.
In the photo above Chris is dancing on the sign to Gonzaga’s business school. Parents and families of first-year Zags were walking in to attend info sessions, each of them seemed somewhat stressed — until they saw Chris. Their frantic chatter was transformed into laughter when they saw him beaming atop the sign. Plenty of family members high-fived him on their way past, some even joining in with dance moves to match Chris’s.
The logo for RADical Hope was inspired by this photo because of the way it encapsulates who he was as a person. He was a light himself, and inspired light in others. This is why Gonzaga Parent and Family Relations wanted to base our shirt design for the summer following Chris’s death off what Chris meant to his fellow team-members, and to those incoming families. He exemplified what it meant to be a student at Gonzaga.
When I had the opportunity to explain why we wanted to honor Chris on our shirt to Pam and Phil Martin they asked if they could use a version of it for their foundation, RADical Hope. Pam, when explaining the foundation to me, said that she wanted to remove the stigma behind mental health. She wanted kids like Chris to not be afraid to come forward, to know that they have a support system. She wanted them to know that there is some light in the world.
When me and my fellow classmates graduated on May 12th, 2019, we were all aware that there were some of us who were missing. Gonzaga’s class of 2019 had three student deaths, including Chris. Phil Martin, Chris’s dad, received an honorary degree for Chris. It was an extraordinarily difficult moment, but I appreciated that Chris’s memory was living on. Looking around I could tell that many of the rest of GU’s class of 2019 were as well.
I believe that RADical Hope is another way that Chris’s memory lives on. By helping those suffering with mental health issues, they are turning a tragedy into something that could radically change the world. I’m inspired by the strength of Pam and Phil Martin, and I hope to keep those struggling with these invisible illnesses in my thoughts. Also, I hope to live with pride and positivity, and to lift others up by spreading brightness to everyone I meet. It’s what Chris would’ve wanted.