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UW Students Plan Memorial Service for Joe McGowan

November 14, 2014

A memorial service for Joe McGowan is planned Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 5 p.m. at the University of Wyoming. The service is open to both the campus and Laramie communities, according to organizers and will be held at Simpson Plaza in front of the Wyoming Union.

McGowan, 21, is the UW art major from Lander who died Saturday, Nov. 1, after an off-campus incident the night before at a private residence. According to police reports, McGowan was attempting to break up a fight when he was struck, hitting his head on the curb. He was life-flighted to a Front Range hospital where he later died of his injuries.

The on-campus memorial service is being organized by one of McGowan’s friends, Mazin Mohamed, an engineering sophomore from Fort Collins, Colo.

“We would like to have as many people come out to this event,” Mohamed says. “This event is about bringing a community together as well.”

Among the memorial speakers besides Mohamed will be UW President Dick McGinity, who also will attend McGowan’s memorial service Sunday in Lander along with UW administrators and students.

The Associated Students of UW will provide candles for the vigil at Simpson Plaza, but Mohamed is encouraging people to bring their own and also matches/lighters.

Mohamed says he wants to preserve the memory of his friend McGowan who was “being his usual helpful self” and trying to break up a fight the night he was fatally injured.

“I want there to be an opportunity for all the people that are suffering to come together and commemorate the good times with Joe,” he says. “I believe this will be a very memorable tribute towards Joe and I thank everyone for enabling this terrific opportunity.”

For more information about the memorial service, email Mohamed at

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