Agee remembered as student, brother, friend


NIU students, family and friends of Steven Agee gather in November 2012 for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Agee. Agee, a student at NIU, died in an off-campus shooting on Nov. 23, 2011.

By Keisha Howerth

NIU will pay tribute to former student Steven Agee at the Student Choice Awards by presenting an award in his name Monday.

The Student Choice Awards acknowledge outstanding students and faculty.

Steven Agee II, 22, of south suburban Park Forest, was shot in the 800 block of Edgebrook Drive, about a mile north of campus, just after 2 a.m. Nov. 23, 2011. The Agee case was resolved last Tuesday when Chaz Thrailkill, 19, of Markham, accepted a 30-year murder plea agreement.

Agee was a sociology major and joined the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity as a sophomore. He later served as the fraternity chapter’s president.

“The plea feels like a cop-out,” said Chris Mitchell, Agee’s friend and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brother. “The sentence isn’t justifiable for what he did.”

Chris Pitts, Agee’s friend and fraternity brother, said Agee had a bright future ahead of him after graduating from NIU.

“[Steven] had a job lined up in California, and it’s sad that he wasn’t able to fulfill that,” Pitts said.

NIU has continued to honor Agee since his passing by naming a conference room in the Campus Life Building after him and through establishing the Steven R. Agee II Scholarship Fund.

“NIU has done a good job in accommodating the family,” said mother Kimberly Agee. “[Steven’s] death didn’t happen on campus, so NIU didn’t have to do anything, but they’ve been helpful through the process.”

Agee said the Steven R. Agee II Scholarship is given to graduating high seniors who pursue high achievements in the classroom.

Fundraisers are held throughout the year to meet the Agee scholarship goal.

Mitchell said Agee was a team player who showed leadership skills.

“[Steven] was an overachiever in the classroom,” Mitchell said. “Even as a sophomore he was active in multiple organizations.”

Pitts said he first met Agee through Black Male Initiative. Pitts said Agee also worked for the Student Association and served as an ambassador for students interested in attending NIU.

“He was passionate about what he wanted to do,” Mitchell said. “He was confident in his work, but very humble, too. He was willing to learn and be taught by others.”

Agee said her son was popular among peers and administration.

“The stories I’ve heard about Steven’s legacy since his death show just how good his relationships were with his peers and teachers,” Agee said. “Every Monday he would come to office hours with a smile on his face, telling everyone that it was the start of a good week.”

Agee said she hopes her son’s legacy will inspire other students to do well in school.

“This last weekend his two nieces were talking about doing their homework because they wanted to make their Uncle Steven proud,” Agee said.