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The Weber State University Student Association honored the life of Juan Brant by presenting Brant’s family an award on Wednesday night. The
WSUSA created the monthly award, known as the Extra Mile Medallion, in 2012 as a way to honor student leaders who go above and beyond their calls of service.
Although Brant wasn’t an elected student leader, he often showed compassion and cared for other students. Mandie Barnes, the leadership vice president, said the night was an emotional experience.
“I think it touched everybody’s hearts, especially to hear his friend Mitch and his mom speak about the person he was,” Barnes said. “And maybe for some of us who didn’t know him on a personal level, we got to kind of relate to him. It was a really personal, emotional experience. It was neat.”
Andrew Gardiner, WSU student president, read a declaration drafted specifically to commemorate Brant’s life. The medallion, a silver-and-purple coin with WSUSA’s logo, accompanied the declaration.
“. . . Whereas the WSUSA Extra Mile Medallion was created as a symbol of exemplary service and dedication to Weber State University and her students, and whereas J.P. showed the importance of building and maintaining relationships with all students, faculty and staff, no matter their background, and J.P. was well loved and respected by many students, faculty and staff at WSU, and now, therefore, the WSUSA hereby honors the life of Juan Pablo Brant for his exemplary life, an example of service, love, compassion and friendship to all students at Weber State.”
Monica Brant expressed her thanks to WSU students for being friends with her son while he was a student and showing they care. Mitch Moise, Brant’s mentor and first friend in Utah, also spoke. Moise became a close friend of the family and took care of Brant. He said Brant led by example and reminded everyone to lead a simple and pure life.
“Don’t focus on materialism,” Moise said. “Focus on the things that matter. And the things that really matter are people.”
Gardiner offered a moment of silence. He said every student matters at WSU, and WSUSA doesn’t want anyone to feel excluded.
“A missing student is a big deal,” Gardiner said. “. . . We just wanted to commemorate and help his family out over this time. . . . But the Student Association cares about the students, and we represent them and are always here for them in whatever need they may have.”