Agee remembered fondly by staff

By Matt Liparota

Standing in Kishwaukee Memorial Hospital early Wednesday morning, Larry Bolles said he could see how much senior sociology major Steven Agee II meant to some people at NIU.

As news spread of Agee’s fatal shooting, which occurred at a party at 809 Edgebrook Wednesday morning, friends began to gather at the hospital, Bolles, director of the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct, said. Some who were there were at the party where he was shot, but not all, Bolles said.

“He touched a lot of people’s lives in a positive way,” Bolles said. “I could see how much love he had on this campus.”

Agee and Bolles were close; the two have been close almost since Agee first enrolled at NIU, Bolles said.

“I took [Agee’s death] hard,” Bolles said. “He was like a son to me.”

Bolles said he first met Agee when he was a freshman. At that time, Agee had gotten in trouble for “drinking and noise” a few times and was up for suspension. Agee came into Bolles’ office with his mother and asked Bolles not to suspend him as well as mentor him.

“Long story short, I gave him another chance,” Bolles said.

From there, Agee received some community service and the requirement that he meet with Bolles in his office once a week for the remainder of that semester.

Since that initial rough start, Bolles said, Agee set himself apart as a prominent student leader. During his time at NIU, Agee was involved in a number of organizations on campus, including the Sociology Student Advisory Committee and Kappa Alpha Phi.

“He went from being a kid who might get suspended to one of the most respected leaders on this campus,” Bolles said.

The required meetings in Bolles’ office became a deeper friendship over time, Bolles said.

“He only had to come [to my office] the rest of that semester,” Bolles said. “He never stopped coming.”

Bolles said Agee tried to find the best in everyone.

“He never had anything bad to say about anyone,” Bolles said. “He always tried to find something nice to say about people.”

Agee was nice to everyone and tried to get to know people, Bolles said – including Kathy Henderson, the receptionist at the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct.

“He tried to come in every day just to wish me a good morning or good afternoon,” Henderson said. “He always came in with a smile … He was just a nice guy.”

Bolles and Agee often talked about ethics and character, he said. Bolles recalled that he used to tell Agee someone can steal a person’s money or clothes, but they can’t steal character.

“I used to say, ‘Nobody can put a gun on you and take your character,'” Bolles said. “You have to lose it.”


The university will host a memorial vigil for Steven Agee II at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Leak & Sons Funeral Home in Country Club Hills. His funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Calvary Baptist Church in Glenwood.

Agee, 22, was fatally shot Wednesday morning. He was a senior sociology major and involved in the Sociology Student Advisory Committee.