A crowd gathered in Porter’s main quad to honor Ivan Mercado on Monday. Silence settled upon the group, which included Ivan’s family, as many looked to the stars or lit candles in the minutes leading up to a vigil.

The campus community was informed via email on Monday that Mercado was hit and killed by a car during the weekend. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Mercado was struck by a car on Highway 17 around 4 a.m. on Saturday morning. The driver was identified as a 30-year-old Scotts Valley resident. Details are still being investigated.

Attendees of the vigil, which began at 9 p.m., spoke of their memories with their friend and colleague, and reminisced upon conversations about the night sky and what’s “out there” with the senior Astrophysics major. As more joined the vigil, the microphone was opened to others in the crowd.

Many of those who took the mic recounted their memories of first meeting Mercado, or of their shared moments of laughter and adventures throughout their time together living and studying in Santa Cruz. One student recalled mistaking Mercado’s major for astrology upon first meeting him in Porter Meadow, and shared fond memories of Mercado’s amused reaction to his mistake.

The vigil became more lighthearted as it progressed, but remained stirring throughout its duration. All who spoke, however, expressed they will greatly miss Ivan.


Students who wish to speak with someone are encouraged to contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (831) 459-2628. A fundraising campaign to help the Mercado family with funeral expenses can be found online. If you would like to donate, please visithttp://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/help-the-mercado-family/125955