Fraternity brothers honor UGA freshman who died by suicide with fundraiser

ATHENS, Ga. — As the University of Georgia community reels over the homicide of a 22-year-old nursing student on campus, they are also grieving the loss of one of their own.

Wyatt Banks, a freshman at UGA, died by suicide on campus on Feb. 21.

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The university confirmed Banks’ death through a letter to students.

His fraternity, Kappa Sigma Beta Lambda, has now set up a GoFundMe to honor Banks’ memory and bring awareness to suicide.

“During his time here, Wyatt spread nothing but positivity and laughter, with an infectious smile and a laugh that anyone in the room could recognize,” his fraternity brothers wrote. “If you were seeking someone to talk to, he was always there with open arms no matter what. If you were looking to go out and have a good time, you knew who to ask. For anything you needed, Wyatt was that guy. With all these redeeming qualities of Wyatt, you would think there would be no problems with him at all, and that’s the issue.”


Kappa Sigma Beta Lamba brothers said they created a GoFundMe to help prevent people who are struggling from turning to suicide in the future.

“No matter who you are, your life matters, and know that there are people who want to help. If you are ever struggling, feel alone, or just need someone to talk to, always remember the suicide hotline is 3 dials away - 988 on your phone,” the brothers wrote.

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The fraternity plans to present the money they raise to Banks’ family to provide support for his funeral, donations to a mental health organization, a scholarship in his name, “or any other idea they have to best memorialize their son.”

So far, the GoFundMe has raised more than $70,000 of their $80,000 goal.

Banks’ death was one of two on campus in just 24 hours. On Thursday morning, an Augusta University nursing student was found dead behind the intermural fields.

Police have classified 22-year-old Laken Riley’s death as a homicide. So far, no one has been charged in her death.