ALPINE, TX (KWES) - Hundreds gathered Thursday night at Sul Ross University to honor the life of Zuzu Verk. The university and the Verk family put the memorial on together for the Alpine community.
Tears were shed and songs were sung but at the end of it man felt Zuzu's presence.
"The kind of person that she was and the kindness and happiness she exhuberated was unlike any other," said Gunner Gardner, a good friend of Zuzu. "She was truly unique."
Thursday's memorial service for Zuzu gave the hundreds in attendance from the Alpine and Sul Ross community a chance to remember the spunky 22-year-old and reflect on her impact on everyone whether she knew you or not.
Allie Hassenflu is a masters student at Sul Ross. She didn't know Zuzu personally but said she feel like she does now.
"Sul Ross is such a small college and when one of us is affected, all of us are affected," said Hassenflu. "Zuzu really touched all of our lives."
The memorial lasted just over an hour, during which stories about Zuzu's love for science and nature were shared. Many talked about the way she was able to bond with others was simply described as the Zuzu effect.
"Everybody in a way felt that they were Zuzu," said Gardner.
Glenn Verk, Zuzu's dad spoke about her daughter and how finding Zuzu was at the forefront of the community for the past four months, but he wants everyone to continue to find Zuzu within themselves.
"I feel like I knew her," said Hassenflu. "I feel like we would've been friends if I would've known her. I feel like we would've argued about conservational issues. I feel like we would've had fun in the field."
"Just thank you for being such a wonderful friend and showing us true happiness and true friendship," said Gardner.
The Zuzu effect was definitely felt Thursday night. Sul Ross president, Dr. Bill Kibler said that this was the first major event that they've had at the new amphitheater so he chose to name it the Zuzu Verk Memorial Outdoor Amphitheater and Classroom.