URI students donning purple to memorialize student


SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) —  The color purple was a bit more prevalent on the University of Rhode Island campus Friday.

The university chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha invited its members and others in the community to wear purple Friday in memory of Dominique Franco, the chapter president who died last weekend. Purple was her favorite color, said classmate Tyler Fritz in a Facebook posting. 

Robyn Abernathy belongs to another sorority but wore purple in sympathy.

“I feel like everyone’s feeling very supportive, and everyone’s coming together as a community to support each other,” she said.

Conan Grune wore a purple Boston basketball jersey, in solidarity with friends who knew Franco.

“Everything I’ve heard [about Franco] has been so sweet and so great. It’s really sad — a sad week,” he said.

Fritz said Franco was one of the kindest souls he had the privilege of knowing.

Franco was rushed to South County Hospital early on Saturday morning for a medical emergency. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital. URI’s assistant director of communications, Dave Lavallee, said her death is not considered suspicious.

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