On Feb. 25, 2018, the University of Maine lost a beloved member of the Black Bear community. Chandler Langlois was a member of Delta Tau Delta, Gamma Nu chapter, a fraternity on campus, and had recently been diagnosed with NUT Midline Carcinoma, a disease that affects about 20-30 people per year in the United States.
Another member of the fraternity organized a benefit dinner for Langlois on Feb. 23. Eric LeVasseur met Langlois in the spring of 2017, just a semester after Langlois officially joined the fraternity. “We weren’t that close, but I was very surprised to hear about his illness. From what I’ve heard, it only affects 20 people a year in the United States.”
“I believe Chandler’s greatest accomplishment during his college career would be his acceptance and participation in his fraternity Delta Tau Delta. Even so, there are many accomplishments I believe my brother has, but his fraternity was very good in developing his character and overall making him a better person,” Chandler’s brother, Connor Langlois, said.
“Our fraternity had to plan an event in the Memorial Union through the University, so we decided to make it a philanthropy event for money and awareness,” LaVasseur said.
The event was hosted as a Dinner and Trivia Night, with catering done by Chick-Fil-A. The proceeds, which were almost triple what was anticipated, are going toward a scholarship fund in Langlois’ name.
“We are hoping to put this scholarship into effect by the fall of 2018. It will be given to students that are currently battling cancer, have survived cancer, or have a family member battling cancer,” LaVasseur said.
Fraternities and sororities all around campus contributed their support and donations at the event. “Something that was special to us was after the event, we were at the house [Delta], and we got a knock on the door from brothers from Theta Chi. They donated $150 cash to us,” Aidan LeClair, a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, said.
“Many of the brothers have been very caring and comforting to our family throughout the entire time Chandler was ill. They visited Chandler in the hospital multiple times and even made quilts for him as he lay in bed all day. In all honesty, everybody’s kindness and warmth around this has boosted my faith in people. It is so wonderful to have others come in to visit, talk to you, and comfort you,” Connor Langlois said.
“The one word that comes to mind when I reflect on the benefit was how beautiful it was,” LeClair said. “Going into it, we were not expecting the turnout that we received, and our main concern was having enough food. Throughout the night, more and more people piled in and the donations were beyond anything that we expected.”
LeClair met Langlois two semesters ago in a casual event through the fraternity. “I will most definitely miss our conversations. He could talk to me about anything, and I could talk to him about anything as well, and we would just spitball off of each other. I learned a lot from him. He had a lot of goals ahead of him and although he was younger than me, he was more adult than I am and he was more prepared for the world.”
“My favorite moments I’ve had with Chandler are when we played golf and worked at our ice cream shop together,” Connor Langlois said. “Playing golf together made us bond very closely as we could both enjoy an activity in the hot summer day. I will never forget these times we had together. He taught me how to be a better person. With his sheer kindness towards others, I have picked up on valuable lessons.”
“If there were any way that Chandler could hear this, I want him to know that we miss him and we will never stop thinking about him,” LeClair added.
The fundraiser set up for a scholarship in Chandler’s name is still online and accepting donations.
“It warms my heart to see others care for another person in hard times, especially his brothers of Delta Tau Delta and friends,” Connor Langlois added.
The fundraisers can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/ChandlerLangloisScholarshipFund as well as https://facebook.com/chandlerlangloisscholarshipfund.