Amid the turning up and “lituations” that occurred during the homecoming season this past week, sorrow and grief engulfed the campus as news broke that the Morehouse community had lost one of its most beloved employees.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 26, students, faculty, and staff express pure shock and disbelief when they became aware of the news that public safety officer James Moody had passed. Some found it hard to process the news as they had just seen him earlier that day.
A long time officer of the Morehouse community, Moody joined the Morehouse police force in Aug. 2007. During his nine-year tenure with the Morehouse Campus Police Department, Moody formed relationships with faculty, staff and students who looked forward to seeing his face during their morning walk to class or while walking the campus taking care of daily business.
Officer Moody, a native of Columbia, SC, had an infectious personality. Even at 8 and 9 a.m., Moody could be seen standing at security booths across campus lifting each person’s spirit as he came in contact with them. It takes someone who truly cares to make an impact with each person he or she comes in contact with, despite having to deal with people who just rolled out of bed and would rather be in bed than sitting in a classroom.
Officer Moody went above and beyond and treated his duties as if it was more than just a job to him. He wanted to ensure he created relationships with everyone who crossed his path.
“Officer Moody was a great man and role model to me and many other brothers at Morehouse,” Justin Lee, a junior marketing major from New Orleans, LA said. “Since I stepped foot on campus, he was always the extra push I needed on the daily to motivate me to go to class and stay focused. As an individual, Officer Moody was really caring and genuine. He would go out of his way to talk to me and make sure I was doing well.”
A member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Moody formed relationships with his fraternity brothers of the Psi chapter of the organization as well. Lee was one of the members fortunate enough to share a special bond with Moody in this way.
“Upon becoming a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Moody and I became undoubtedly closer,” Lee said. “Our high and bye conversations became long, drawn out 30 minute minimum conversations about the fraternity and life. When on the go he would say, ‘RQQ team. See you later, dawg.’”
A graduate of Wofford College located in Spartanburg, SC, Moody used his wisdom and intellect to reach students and speak to them so that his words resonated with them beyond the conversation. Students revered him for his he knowledge gained in the classroom and throughout his life.
Lee cites, “Through Perseverance, all things are possible” as the biggest lesson he gained through Moody, words every person can apply to his or her own life.
Officer Moody had an impact on other students who attend other institutions in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) as well.
“I saw Officer Moody every morning before class, and EVERY TIME he saw me, it was nothing but love,” Toni Collins, a junior mass media arts major currently attending Clark Atlanta University said. “Always making sure I was getting to wherever I had to go safely. His smile and sense of humor made me smile.”
Collins made it very clear that in her opinion, Moody was one of the few public safety officers who actually cared about students.
“… In all of my three years here, I never thought public safety cared until I met him,” Collins said. “He actually [did] his job and [made] you feel safe at your institution, like having a dad or uncle on campus watching you.”
Although he was a father to four sons, three who graduated from the College, Moody had a heart big enough to share with each student. His presence on these sacred grounds will be greatly missed. His smile will be remembered. His words, “IDs. I need to see IDs” will forever echo through this campus. His spirit will continue to be felt by each and every individual he came in contact with.
Campus News Editor