Jackson Riplinger Gallagher, a senior majoring in philosophy at Binghamton University, died Feb. 7 after struggling with depression.
Gallagher, 21, was born March 24, 1992 in Wilmington, N.C. He was a resident of Corning, N.Y., and graduated from East High School.
Melissa Lucey, a senior majoring in human development, grew up with Gallagher; the two met in grade school. According to Lucey, Gallagher enjoyed listening to “a classy style of music,” as well as debating among friends.
“He just was so confident in his ideas,” Lucey wrote in an email. “Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but he was so determined.”
According to Lucey, Gallagher made friends easily.
“He was one of those kids that knew how to make friends in a second and in the next, it would feel like you’ve known each other forever,” Lucey wrote.
Beyond making friends with everyone he met, Lucey said that Gallagher was one of the best friends a person could ask for.
“He was one of the most genuine people that someone could be fortunate to call a friend,” Lucey wrote. “He always looked out for others and never asked for anything in return.”
Gallagher took multiple courses with Eric Dietrich, a philosophy professor at BU. According to Dietrich, Gallagher had a dry wit, but took his work seriously.
“He was a bit intense, and he thought long and hard about the issues we covered, coming to his own conclusions, and, importantly, he was always prepared to argue for them,” Dietrich wrote in an email. “He added significantly to the classes of mine he took, and he will be missed.”
Melissa Zinkin, a philosophy professor, also had Gallagher as a student. Zinkin said that Gallagher excelled in his courses and was permitted to take a graduate-level course based on his grades.
“He was serious–but in the way that showed a passion for what he was doing,” Zinkin wrote in an email.
Gallagher is survived by his father, mother, brother, grandmother and stepsisters, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Donations can be made in Gallagher’s name to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.