Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student found dead in dorms

Constantino Alistair Fontes, a student on the pre-medicine track in the College of Arts and Sciences, was found dead in his room in Lakeside West Residence Hall Wednesday night. The time and cause of death are unknown.

Fontes was an 18-year-old sophomore from Dallas, Texas. Before coming to the University, Fontes attended the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, where he was a member of the Rangers swimming and diving team. He set a team record for the 400 free relay in 2009 at 3:13.04.

Fifi Wang, a freshman majoring in political science, met Fontes at the out-of-state student reception held at the beginning of the year.

“I remember overhearing his name and thinking it was really cool,” Wang said. “We both had the National Merit Scholarship. For the first few days of school we kind of formed a group of friends all from random places like Colorado, Texas and Indiana.”

Wang said Fontes was a fun person to be around.

“He would always stay stuff that would make you smile,” she said. “And he was so kind-hearted. One thing that stuck out to me about him was when he chose to give up a ticket to the football season opener because he had a friend from home visiting and didn’t want to leave him alone.”

Wang said she wishes she had kept in touch with Fontes more instead of gradually losing touch with him as the year went on.

“I wasn’t as close to him as other people, but he was a really good guy,” Wang said.

Steve Keogh, a freshman majoring in telecommunications, was one of Fontes’ close friends. The two were supposed to be roommates next year. They were also very involved at St. Francis of Assisi University Parish together.

“Tino and I bonded pretty easily,” Keogh said. “We would watch terrible movies… Then we became a tight-knit group from our church and about eight or 10 of us would hang out every weekend. He would wear these silly hats that looked like animals and all the girls loved him. He was adorable.”

Keogh said Fontes was also really involved with the pro-life movement on campus, and he would refer to Bama Students for Life as “Savin da Babies 101.”

“He was half British, half Mexican,” Keogh said, recalling facts about his friend. “He loved to wash dishes. His voice would get really high pitched when he laughed, and his face could get really red.”

Keogh said Fontes would always hold a cup in a particular way against his lips or roll it across his face just when standing around.

“He was always easy to get along with,” Keogh said. “He would be so excited to see you, no matter who you were.”

Mary Sellers Shaw, a freshman majoring in English, was Fontes’ Spanish partner during the fall semester.

“Constantino was such a nice, fun guy,” Shaw said. “He always kept us laughing with his stories. He was really easygoing and was great to talk to, especially if you were stressed. He could make you relax and forget about whatever you were worried about.”

She said she will miss his personality most of all.

“It’s very rare to find someone who is funny, nice, smart and easy to talk to,” Shaw said.

Katie Summers, a freshman with an undecided major, also had Spanish class with Fontes both last fall and this semester. “He always made good grades and we studied together a lot,” Summers said. “His dad was from Mexico, so maybe that was why he was so good at Spanish, but he was a really smart guy.”

Summers said it was extremely difficult going into their classroom and seeing his empty seat.

“I usually sat next to him,” she said. “What I think I will miss the most is just him not being there. He brightened my day in Spanish and now that’s gone.”

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