As we grieve the loss of Griffin Cuomo, we want to recognize the lasting impact he made on so many of us in the School of Communication. Below we’ve included some thoughts and memories from our School of Communication community. If you’d like to include your own memories of Griffin on this page, please complete the form here: REMEMBERING GRIFFIN. We will continue to add your thoughts and memories. Thank you.

Feel free to reach out to Andrea Weber with any questions or concerns (

Hundreds of students enter and exit our lives during the course of a teaching career, but only a few make such an impression on us that we remember them vividly after they have moved on.  Griffin was one of those students.  He was in my Gender Com course in the spring 2020 semester, during which we had to transition from in-person to online classes.  The transition was difficult for everyone, but Griffin always kept a positive attitude and actively participated both in online class and in our zoom events, like “Wear Your Chapman Pride” day, and “Virtual Ice Cream Social” .  He cared about how others were coping with pandemic stressors, and frequently offered me words of encouragement or appreciation.  He was a great student and a great person. –Niccole Nichols

I had Griffin during the Spring 2020 semester which included the initial onset of the pandemic. Griffin was the kind of student that showed up with passion, kindness, and a contagious curiosity. He brought these ideals to the classroom consistently, creating a more positive, engaging learning environment for himself and his peers. As a new instructor navigating a tumultuous world and entirely new online classroom experience, Griffin served as a consistent reminder that what we were doing and learning in the classroom mattered. Despite the many challenges students faced that semester, Griffin truly cared about his education, his peers, and his Chapman family and would be there, camera on, ready to engage in whatever topic we were covering that day. His persistence and passion for learning is a consistent motivator and reminder for me as an instructor that the relationships we build in the classroom matter and the content we share with students is meaningful. Griffin’s care for his peers and his coursework has shaped who I am as an instructor and will continue to shape the instructor I become. –Madi Murphy

I like to think that Griffin and I had a special relationship, as I was his teacher from the very start of his college journey in SCC100 all the way to his senior year in SCC400. It always brought a smile to my face to see Griffin’s name on my class roster – he was the kind of student who teachers LOVE to have in class. He came to every single class with a positive attitude, was quick with a smile and a joke, gave his best on every assignment, and was so appreciative and kind to everyone around him. He is the kind of student you never forget. Griffin was also the kind of person who always let you know how much he appreciated you – so I hope that is something people can take with them in memory of such an incredible person. In his last email to me, Griffin wrote “Thank you for all of the fun memories.” Thank you, Griffin,  for all that you meant to all of us. –Sara LaBelle

Here is a link to a video Dr. LaBelle created to honor Griffin upon his graduation: 

http://Griffin’s STAR Video

Griffin made a distinctly positive impression on all of us. Since 2018, when he joined the School of Communication, he was an engaged and enthusiastic student. We all loved having him in our courses because we could count on him to keep the class culture both positive and involved. He was always volunteering to answer questions (even when he wasn’t sure of the answer). He made our jobs as instructors and advisors easier through his positive attitude and fun personality. He was so appreciative of us and our time….so incredibly likable. I remember thinking, on multiple occasions, that I hope my own kids turn out half as kind, humble, appreciative, and enthusiastic as Griffin. –Andi Weber

Griffin was the kind of student who made you love teaching, who reinforced why you do what you do. He was respected and adored by classmates, friends, and faculty here at Chapman. It was an honor and a privilege to call him one of my students. Griffin will always be remembered as an incredible and successful student, and an even better person. -❤ Kishi Rey

To say Griffin was an incredible student, classmate, and person would be an understatement! Griffin enriched the lives of others by bringing joy, laughter, and thought-provoking conversation to each class session. It was an honor not only to be his professor, but also to learn from him! –Tess Buckley

Griffin was an extreme joy to be around. We got to know each other over the course of our education within the School of Communication. We had multiple classes together and had never become friends until our final class together. We both were in a group and it was an ongoing joke between us that we always wanted to say “hi” to each other but never did, until our capstone class. Knowing what has happened, I wish we had said “hi” in our first class together instead of waiting. We bonded over our passion for being the class “know it alls” but also just enjoying college and excited for the real world. We instantly became friends and I will always remember him being such a contagiously happy and positive person. I am sending my prayers to his family and friends, and I have never met anyone so underserving of what has happened. Lots of love to Griffin. –Tara Sauerbrey

Griffin was a standout acquaintance of mine who I shared many classes with during my four years at Chapman. He was always one of the brightest and most active participants in class and always brought group projects to the next level with his creativity and insight. Both Griffin and I had a love for sports and would share our aspirations to eventually work in sports out of school. The world will miss you Griff. -Daniel Reihanian

The most positive guy in the SOC. He made class so fun even on zoom. I miss studying on Facetime together and playing scattergories when we got bored studying. I miss working with him at Phoneathon. I miss his infectious smile and attitude. -Alyssa Girimonte

I had the honor of being in a few classes with Griffin. He was as genuine as they come. I will always remember our conversations about sports, specifically football and his love for the Seattle Seahawks. He deserved the world and so much more. Thanks for being you, Griffin. And as you would always say, Go Hawks…. ❤️-Nate Kelly

Griffin and I met in the first few weeks of Freshman year. I remember we got to talking in line at Jamba Juice and bonded over missing our families and adjusting to being away from home. He was so warm and made me feel at home. He was just the person I needed to come across on that day. The following year we ended up in tennis class together. Every Tuesday and Thursday of sophomore year we would meet on the tennis courts and have an absolute blast. Despite being quite a better player than me (and most of the class), he would rally with me and always left me feeling like I did well. He was always one to share a smile and truly cared about the people around him. His positive attitude and fun spirit made my college experience and will be beyond missed. -Sarah Hertzberg

I have attended a couple of classes with Griffin and worked on a couple of group projects and to hear of his passing today is heart breaking. Even as a young individual I could see he had the confidence to grab life by the horns. He was bright beyond his years and destined for great things. My condolences to his family. -Khiry Carter

Without a doubt, Griffin was the sweetest person I’ve had the pleasure of being friends with during my time at Chapman. From all of our classes to group projects we did together, Griffin was such a good genuine person and always put others before himself. Truly a gem of a human. -Nelly Rouzroch

Griffin was one of the nicest people I have ever met. I don’t think there was a day that went by where I didn’t see him have a smile spread across his face. Something that I loved most about him was that he always went out of his way to say hi to me and made anyone he was talking to feel important. He was kind, smart, generous, and always the light of the room. My heart and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. Such an amazing soul taken away from us way way way to soon. -Krystal Johnson

Griffin was one of the first people I met at Chapman. We immediately bonded over our shared major and interest in tennis. We’d play regularly, walking together from the dorms to the courts. I’ll always remember Griffin as a friendly, outgoing, and fun to be around person with a great attitude and sense of humor. Griffin was admired across the SCC and Chapman community for his intelligence, inclusiveness, and kindness. When it comes to good and genuine qualities, Griffin embodied it all and so much more. –Hanna Marcus

I worked with Griffin at Phonathon for several semesters. He was a standout teammate. Always in a good mood, with an amazing attitude. His smile was contagious and he had a great sense of humor. He was kind and supportive of everyone around him and was generally just a joy to be around. I could tell that he had nothing but goodness in his heart. -Belen Franco

Griffin was the most hardworking, easy going, friendly person in my com classes. He was one of those students that left a positive impact on everyone around him. Taking the capstone course together, we were able to work on projects together that deeply discussed our time at Chapman, and our goals for the future. It was extremely evident that Griffin was going to be successful in anything he set his mind to. He made every other individual in the room feel seen, he did everything with an open mind and heart, and has truly touched the hearts of so many. Love and prayers to Griffin’s loved ones, heaven has gained an angel. -Isabella Marcus

Griffin was in a couple of my classes during my time at Chapman and always had a positive attitude and a great disposition to learn and make class that much more fun. I’d always see him around the SoC building and he was always offering a kind smile and making his classmates feel appreciated and seen. His positive attitude was contagious and made the bad days a little less gray and more bearable. Thank you Griffin for making me feel appreciated despite not knowing me that well. You’ll be missed ❤️ –Laura Álvarez

Although I was not fortunate enough to know Griffin well, we had many classes together during our time in the communication program at Chapman. Griffin was always such a friendly face to see, and was the kind of person who would help you out if he saw you needed it. He was a hard working student, and a great friend who seemed to have an incredibly warm heart. I am sending prayers and love to his family and friends during this devastating time. ❤️ -Lucy Castles

I worked with Griffin for two years at Chapman Phonathon. I would make SURE that I would have the same schedule as him. He was such a light, gentle, friendly, and hilarious energy in every room. Some people can only radiate positivity and joy, and Griffin was one of those people. When I think about him, I am left with a smile and can hear his laugh and jokes. Always will. –Charlotte McDougald


A terrible loss. I had a few classes with Griffin that left a lasting impression on his positive, driven, and contagious character. This is incredibly heartbreaking. My deepest condolences! -Jessica Bebawi

I met Griffin when we both worked at Phonathon on campus. Though I have not spoken to him in a while he always made going to work fun and was a great leader. He was always so positive, charismatic and helpful. It is not an easy task to work while tending to a full-time course load but Griffin was always in a good mood (even during the later shifts) and it was contagious to the rest of us… he was one of the people that made me look forward to work. I always remember thinking he is the type of person that the world needs more of. When I think of Griffin I will always think of his kindness and his positive attitude whether we were talking about work, playing games before our shift, school or sports. He was also one of the first people I met on campus with the same major as me. He will be very very missed. 🤍-Kylie Paposha

Griffin and I met at Phonathon when we were assigned to be seated next to each other. I didn’t know in that moment that he would become one of my closest friends. I quickly grew to love his positive spirit that radiated amongst all around him. He was the kind of person that inspired you to always be better and focus on the good in life. I will miss his sarcastic nature and kind soul and all of our game night competitions (that led to many roast battles). I’m thankful to have had him in my life. -Arianna Burtis

I met Griffin right before my freshman year of college. Not only was he a great classmate, but he was also an amazing friend to me. He was always there through all the tough challenges I went through in college. He never hesitated to help, give the best advice, or just hangout. His caring personality and love he had for others made him beyond amazing. He taught me what a great friendship looks like. He never failed to make me feel important and was by far one of the most kindhearted people I have ever met. I know he made a lasting impact on so many people and I feel so lucky to have known him. Love you Grif🤍 -Romina Shams

I met Griffin my freshman year at Chapman. He was so friendly and kind from the very start. In classes, he was always curious and open to new ideas. On a personal level, he was a very intentional friend and there for me when I needed support. I could come to him with anything, never fearing judgement. I have very fond memories of our weekly tradition of going to Banzai Bowls my freshman year. Griffin was someone who was always working on improving himself: physically, emotionally, and intellectually. I am grateful for the opportunity to have encouraged him as he would always encourage and lift me up too. I am so proud of the person he had become. I will miss him dearly. -Jessica Roat

I was Griffin’s track and field coach when he was in middle school. This is heartbreaking, he was one of those you’ll always remember. He always came with a great attitude, eager to learn and did his best. My heart goes out to his family and the many who knew him. -Herb Mason