BOZEMAN, Mont. - Montana State University students, athletes, and staff gathered today to remember the life of Conner Firstman, a well known and liked MSU student and Bobcat videographer who lost his battle with cancer last month.
The cold, rainy day reflected the somber mood as hundreds of Montana State University students, staff, and athletes packed into Bobcat stadium to remember Conner Firstman.
"The crummy weather, cold, windy, and people are showing up in the rain, many of them without umbrellas, some of them without jackets on," Conner's father Curtis said of the crowd, "and sitting, listening to every word from every speaker, it's just amazing. The love they shared and poured on by showing up; I'm forever grateful."
Curtis was one of many people who spoke about Conner's life, his character, and accomplishments.
Conner was known by most for the videos he shot and edited for MSU Athletics.
His father described him as a film genius, and his boss with MSU Athletics, Leslie Masterpaul, agreed.
"He set such a precedent with our expectations for future interns," she explained. "Conner learned how to capture the magic in a video, the emotion."
And it was on the field where Conner showed his videography skills to the world, so it was only fitting that his memorial service was held at Bobcat Stadium.
"It's almost hallowed ground to see the place that my son spent a lot of his filming," Firstman said. "You could feel him, you could feel his presence, and it was tough."
Conner made a lasting impact on the Bobcat community in his time there, not only raising the bar for MSU Athletics, but by being an example of living life to the fullest and with a positive attitude, even during times of pain.
"He just brought smiles to us on our bad days and sustained the smiles on the good ones," Masterpaul said, "just always so positive and never said no, always put others first before himself. He was a truly, truly wonderful soul."
At the end of the ceremony, Montana State University's Dean of the College of Arts and Architecture presented Conner's parents with Conner's degree from the School of Film and Photography.
MSU also recently introduced the Conner Firstman Film Like a Champion Scholarship.
To see some of Conner's videos, visit his Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/connerfirstman/videos