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Family of WSU fall victim hopes for recovery

Matthew Gray’s father described his son as active and compassionate

Freshman Matthew Gray remains 
in critical condition after falling from his window.

Courtesy of Jim Gray

Freshman Matthew Gray remains in critical condition after falling from his window.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

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Matthew Gray, 18, had been at WSU for just three days. He had joined a fraternity and was considering construction management as a major.

Then, on Aug. 24, he fell from his second-floor window in the Community-Duncan Dunn residence hall, suffering severe injuries. Since then, he has been in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Jim Gray, Matthew’s father, said Matthew loves helping others.

“He went 100 percent at everything he did,” Jim said. “He worked very hard, and was always very active.”

Matthew participated in many sports, including wakeboarding, skiing, rock climbing, baseball and rowing crew, his father said.
“I think he just embraced everything he did,” Jim said. “Whatever he was doing, that’s what it was at the time.”

Matthew is not only active in sports and hobbies, as he also enjoys giving back to both his family and his community. He volunteered for the last few summers with Camp Agape NW, a week-long camp for children with cancer and their families to spend time together.

“He worked 12 to 16 hours a week being a counselor for kids,” Jim said. “He took them inner tubing and stuff. He let the little kids drive the boat, which would make their whole week.”

Matthew also helped with a church fundraiser called Bite of Greece Seattle, where he was trusted with running a booth, his father said. As a child, his older sisters would take Matthew with them when they were selling chocolate bars for fundraisers, because they realized “he could sell the chocolate by being a cute little kid,” Jim said.

Matthew was excited to start a new chapter in his life and begin hanging out with the men of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at WSU, Jim said. He attended all of the recruitment events that the chapter held in the Seattle area.

Members of the fraternity could not be reached for comment.

“He was so excited once he got the offer,” Jim said. “He was over the moon for the two weeks from when he got the offer until he went to WSU.”

While his family may first think of how active and outgoing Matthew is, the one thing that everyone he meets takes away from their encounters is his maturity, his father said.

“He was the kind of kid that could talk to an adult and hold a real conversation,” Jim Gray said, “that was something that everyone always commented on.”

While the way people spoke of Matthew always makes Jim proud, he said he hopes this tragedy does not change his son.

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