Candlelight vigil remembering Alexander Boyd

Honoring Alexander Boyd’s life. Photo courtesy: Michael Mccarty

Friends and family of Alexander Boyd gathered together as they paid their respects to a fallen Rattler.

Alexander Boyd, a 20-year-old Florida A&M University sophomore, passed away on Feb. 25, 2023, after drowning at Miramar Beach.

A beautiful night of candlelight vigil service occurred at Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF) Hansen House on FAMU’s campus.

Shawn Woodin, President of SSF, opened the service with an introduction of comforting words and laughter to bring joy into such a tragedy.

“Tonight, we are honoring a loss in our whole community. Ever since Alex moved into Knight House, he brought joy and a comforting spirit with him,” Woodin said.

“In these houses, there are television screens so big it brings out the competitive spirit within him and his brothers of Knight House.”

The vigil was presided over by the Knight Scholarship House and FAMU.

FAMU’s very own Miss and Mister Florida A&M University Aliya Everett and Armani Jones showed up to pay their respects, sending deep condolences to the Boyd family.

Familiar faces like Robert Tucker II also came to the vigil.

Once President Woodin gave a warm introduction, beautiful songs were played, requested by the family of Alexander Boyd. The first musical selection played was Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp.

After hearing such a fantastic song, Reggie Dotson, house manager of Knight House, read an emotional letter that he wrote.

“Alex, you may not be physically amongst us, but your presence lingers in the shadows. I do not see what you see. However, I know you are watching over me,” Dotson said.

“I hear you laughing when I laugh. I ask you to watch over and protect your brothers at Knight House.”

In every word, he said the energy of the vigil shifted from the celebration of Boyd to a heartbroken farewell. While Dotson painfully lets comments leave his mouth, peers around the candle-lighting start crying, letting tears drop from their faces grieving over a beloved young man.

Key Sims, a housemate, and friend of Boyd spoke at the vigil with no intention of either.

“The only thing I can think of now is that it sucks. Devastation is something we can agree on feeling right now, Sims said.

“Nobody ever knows how fragile life can be until it is no longer available to you.”

As candles were lit and held high, everyone bowed their heads as a group and prayed for Boyd to live on in peace. Praying for his family and life to continue his journey through another life as he is absent from the one his loved ones live in.

In the midst of everyone’s candle being lit, the song Really Gonna Miss You by Smokey Robinson was played in the background.

In closing remarks, as the vigil wined down, happy birthday chants and birthday wishes were made to Boyd because it was his twenty-first birthday. Mar. 1, 2002, Alexander Boyd was born.

A horrible incident shortened Boyd’s life, not letting him see a day of his twenty-one years of birth.

Friends and family of Boyd, who is partnered up with the SSF family, ask if some would like to support Alex’s family.

They can donate to the Alexander Boyd Memorial Fund on their website at

One hundred percent of donations will help Alex’s family with expenses during this time.