On August 11th, 2017 Niagara alumni and resident of Webster, New York, Nicholas Albano passed away unexpectedly due to his increasingly active epilepsy condition. The Niagara University community is extremely saddened by this loss as Nick was one of the most genuine, upright members of the NU community. Our condolences go out to the Albano family, his girlfriend Sarah, and the many friends close to him that are affected by his passing.
During his time at NU, Nick made it his mission to help others, truly upholding the values of this Vincentian University. He made it his duty to speak out against injustices and the stigma against mental health, sexual assault, and the interconnectedness between the two topics. Back in 2015, Nick participated in a panel that discussed the impacts of sexual assault on mental health for Sexual Assault Awareness Week, as a guest speaker.
Through his close ties to the Women’s Studies department, specifically with Dr. Hope Russell, Nick was one of the most avid participants in the annual Take Back the Night event which raises awareness for sexual assault. Dr. Russell stated that in the midst of the darkness during the marches, it was Nick’s spirit that shined brightly and he will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him.
Anyone that knew Nick, understood that he was a superhero super fan with an unmatched appreciation for Captain America. In fact his Varsity Village house was a themed “The Marvel House.” His close friend, Zaire James, called him the perfect representation of Captain America. James said, “I’m sure Nick’s standing there with his Captain America shield ready to defend the people of our world.”
Superhero qualities are exactly what Nick possessed. He was the type of genuine person that listened, learned and tried to understand; also, he was hilarious and good at making others feel better. Sarah had this to say about Nick:
“Nick had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He was hilarious, and he knew it. Completely charming, but the most genuine person ever. Not a bad bone in his body. He only wanted the best for people. He was just… the best person you could meet, and he was a friend to everyone.”
It just goes to show that Nick was someone that we all should strive to be like. According to another tight-knit friend, Amber, Nick demonstrated to everyone who knew him how to live a life full of laughter and happiness and inspired many others to be the superhero that those around him, knew him to be.
Nick simply wanted to help people. His career goal was to be a high school counselor because he wanted to do anything to help teens. Nick was one of the true lights of the world, his activism and care for others made him a real superhero and model of how to live a fulfilling life.
In honor of Nick’s pursuit to help others, Sarah and the Albano family have started a GoFund.me account that has raised over $6,000 in just over 15 days. The money will be used by the Albano family to donate to a handpicked epilepsy research foundation. Gone but undoubtedly never forgotten, we appreciate Nick and respect all that he stood for, especially his life message of love, care and duty to help others.