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Former Olympic Sprinter, Stony Brook  All American Roger Gill Dies in Car Crash
March 3, 2008

To the Stony Brook Community, 
This past weekend, Stony Brook lost two of its great alumni and two special men, Roger L. Gill (’95) and Warren Davies (’97) in a tragic car accident.  Both men were just thirty-five years old.  We have been friends, no brothers, of Roger and Warren since during our days at Stony Brook from 1990 to the present and while we send our condolences to both families at this time, we wanted to share a little bit about the man we all knew as Roger and the type of husband, father, son, friend and student athlete that the University community can be proud to call one of its own. 

Roger was recruited by some of the top track programs in America (including UCLA & Georgia Tech), yet chose Stony Brook for its educational and athletic opportunities.  Roger was a 4 time All State high school track athlete in high school and decided to attend Stony Brook with 4 other freshman. These freshman, along with senior Jean Massilon became known as the "Stony Brook Express."  The Stony Brook Express brought forth a golden age at Stony Brook for the men's track and field team and this group still currently holds over 12 university men's track and field records, captured the ECAC track championships in 1991 (the first one ever), and has several All-Americans and Olympians.  Roger graduated from Stony Brook with a BA in Human Resource Management and took graduate classes at Stony Brook.  

Roger epitomizes the notion of student athlete, husband, father and a quality person in America that we can all honor.  While at Stony Brook, Roger was Stony Brook’s first ever Freshman All-American.  Roger was also one of two members of the Express to run in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.  One of our proudest moments in life was seeing him and Anderson Vilien on television as they marched in the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremonies.  It brought tears to our eyes see our former teammates at the Olympics when knowing just two years before we would all speak, not in jest, about how they would run in the Olympics. That was typical Roger, setting goals and achieving them.

Roger was truly a special student athlete.  We all drew strength from Roger's ability and desire to be the best.  He was known for his ability to bring our relay teams back from 4th or 5th place to first in a blink of an eye.  We also remember watching his performance at the Penn Relays, where he passed 6 teams, many of which were Division I programs to lead our relay to victory.  It was because of Roger that our team continued to get better, stronger and faster.  We had no fear with our leader by our side, and Roger never showed any fear.  

Clearly, if you look at the university record books, Roger is the best athlete that Stony Brook has ever had, both pre and post the division I move.  Roger not only performed at meets, he was one of the hardest working students we knew.  We all owe part of our own track success at Stony Brook directly to Roger, who pushed us, reminded us that we could do better and eventually let by example on the track and in life.   

Roger ran for the love of the sport.  Back then, there were no athletic scholarships and no additional funds for the athletic department.  We even had to purchase our own running shoes. But despite this, Roger ran all four years, proudly wearing the Stony Brook jersey.  He was even the last SB athlete to compete under the old school mascot, the Patriots. 

But, there’s so much more to Roger than just his running.  He and his wife are part of the Stony Brook family.  Our Stony Brook family.  He fell in love and married Annette Hicks (’96), who is also a SB alumni, and they have shared over ten years of marriage together.  During her time at SB, Annette was elected SGA vice-president and president.  To us, the Gill family reminds us of how unique our SB experience has been to all of us.  Roger and Annette have four beautiful daughters, ranging from 10 to 1 years old.  And, they are expecting twins in the coming months.  This is truly a tragic event in all of our lives and for the Stony Brook community. 

We were with Roger the night of his death, and as usual he spoke of his wife, his daughters and becoming a new father again.  That night he also spoke of Stony Brook, and discussed why it was that neither he nor any of the Express members were in the Athletic Hall of Fame at Stony Brook.  In some ways, it bothered not only him, but all of us, and its ironic to know that during his final day, he still had Stony Brook on his mind.  He truly admired our University and lived a beautiful life.     

Given all of what the Gill family has accomplished and meant for Stony Brook, the time is now for the University to take action and acknowledge to Roger’s family how special Roger was to our University.  Everyone of our past, current and future students should aspire to live life as Roger did.  Therefore, we are sure that the University will join us and our friends to help Roger’s family at this time.  We hope that the University is willing to recognize Roger and Annette’s efforts in life by providing their children with scholarships to the University, and additional support, as we all take this time to honor one of Stony Brook’s greatest alumni.   

Roger’s additional accomplishments: First Freshman All-American, 6 time All-American, 2 time SBU Athlete of the Year, 2 time ECAC- MVP, Senior Athlete of the Year, Milrose Games- Madison Square Garden- 1st Place- 4x400M, Guyana National Record Holder- 4x400M, Bronze Medal CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games- 4x400M. 

He was also involved in the following activities at Stony Brook: Polity Senator, Vice President- Caribbean Student Organization, Gospel Choir, Faculty / Staff Advisor- Caribbean Student Organization, Student Manager- Campus Catering, Assistant Foodservice Manager, Part of Opening Team for the Student Activities Center, Foodservice Director- Stony Brook Union, Humanities Café. 

Roger was also a deacon at his church, Corona Seventh Day Adventist Church, where he and his family often participated in many of the church’s activities.   
 

With love, brotherhood, and admiration.  We will always miss you Roger and Warren. 

Courtney O’Mealley  Jerry Canada   Jeremiah Ellis

Jean Massilion   Anderson Vilien  Wayne Mattadeen 
 
 

Donations to benefit Roger’s daughters and wife Annette should be payable to the “Roger L. Gill Family Trust”.  Donations should then be sent care of Jerry Canada, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, One Broadway, NY, NY 10004. 
 
 

Roger Gill Arrangements 
 
Wednesday March 5th  
5pm – 9pm viewing  
Roy L Gilmore's Funeral Home 
19102 Linden Blvd.

Jamaica, NY 11412 
(718) 529-3030 
 
Thursday March 6th  
Viewing from 5pm – 7pm.   
Funeral Service from 7pm – until. 
Corona Seventh Day Adventist Church 
35-40 103rd Street 
Corona, NY 11368 
 
Friday March 7th  
Burial 
meet at church at 9am. 
8315 Kew Gardens Road 
Jamaica, NY 11415

 


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