Students rally to honor memory of bandmate and friend

Eric Humphrey
Eric Humphrey

Eric Humphrey’s song ended far too soon, but his fellow students want to make sure it’s never forgotten.

Humphrey played trumpet on the UO’s marching and spirit bands for four years, emerging as a leader and a friend in the tight community of campus musicians. But the 22-year-old lost his life to cancer on June 30 after fighting the disease for several years.

Now, band members are raising money to establish a special fund in Humphrey’s memory as a way of remembering someone who was more than another note in the chorus.

“The entire band looked up to him as a leader and as someone they could talk to and someone they felt cared for them,” said Anna Waite, the athletic bands coordinator.

A graduate of Sunset High School in Portland, Humphrey was the trumpet section leader and member of the Yellow Garter Band, Oregon Basketball Band and Oregon Marching Band. He performed with the Duck band at the 2011 national championship football game, 2012 Rose Bowl, 2013 Fiesta Bowl and 2014 Alamo Bowl.

But Waite said Humphrey will be remembered more for the friends he made and the bonds he forged with his bandmates, connections that began almost the day he joined the marching band as a freshman in 2010. That continued for the four years Humphrey was part of the band, until as recently as this past spring.

“Up until the last minute than he could, he was with the band,” Waite said.

In his memory, band members have created the Eric Humphrey Memorial Fund. The goal is to raise enough money to establish a scholarship that can be given to a student who embodies the kind of character and qualities that defined Humphrey.

Gifts can be made by going to the Eric Humphrey memorial website.

By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications