University News

University Community Remembers ‘Awe-Inspiring’ Student who Succumbed to Coronavirus

The University of New Haven community came together to celebrate the life of Joshua Goodart ’21, a cybersecurity and networks major, who died of complications from COVID-19 earlier this month. The University will award his degree posthumously at Spring Commencement.

February 19, 2021

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Charger statue vigil.
Members of the University community placed candles next to the Charger Statue to honor Goodart’s memory.

Anthony Nigro ’21 has fond memories of meeting Joshua Goodart ’21 in a chemistry class as first-year students. Goodart became one of his closest friends, a group Nigro dubbed “the guys.”

Goodart, 22, a cybersecurity and networks major, died earlier this month of complications from COVID-19. Nigro was one of several of Goodart’s friends who spoke to the University community as part of a physically distanced remembrance ceremony and candlelight vigil, which was also streamed online. Nigro described Goodart as a “brother” and a “truly remarkable person.”

“He always stood up for us, always had our backs,” said Nigro. “He was everything you could want in a friend and more, a treasured addition to the guys. The guys are going to miss you, buddy.”

A resident of Oxford, Conn., Goodart became sick over Winter Break and was eventually hospitalized. He had not yet returned to campus for the spring semester.

Campus chaplain Marty O’Connor led the University community in a prayer, and several students shared tributes to Goodart, including a poem dedicated to him. Goodart’s friend and roommate, Noah Castro ’21, has especially fond memories of Goodart playing the song “Greensleeves” on the guitar. He said the song will always remind him of Goodart, and he played a recording of it at the ceremony. He also shared the pain of losing his friend.

“My heart sank,” he said. “I was so upset I couldn’t do anything the day that I found out he had died. But then I looked back on all the great times we had together. He always knew how to crack a smile, and he was so much fun to be around. He was so hard working, and he was awe inspiring.”

Noah Castro ’21
Noah Castro ’21, Joshua Goodart’s friend, played a recording of “Greensleeves” at the ceremony.
‘Josh’s memory will always live on’

Speaking next to a wreath of white roses and a photo of Goodart, classmates shared funny stories about him, describing him as a “teddy bear” who probably would have been wearing flip flops that day, despite the winter weather.

Liberty Page ’91 M.S., Goodart’s faculty adviser, recalled the last time she spoke to Goodart. She remembers he was looking forward to his internship and to applying for cybersecurity jobs, and she described him as an enthusiastic and hardworking student.

“I told him how proud I was of him,” she said. “I’m glad I got the chance to tell him. He was a gentleman. He was kind, a great guy, a good friend, very well-liked. I loved his smile. He was always happy. His smile lit up the room.”

Joshua Goodart
Joshua Goodart ’21. (Courtesy of GoFundMe)

Goodart had told Prof. Page that he wanted to stay in Connecticut, his home state, upon graduating in May. He aspired to work in network administration.

The University will award Goodart’s degree posthumously during Spring Commencement and, if an in-person Commencement is possible, invite his parents to be special guests.

At the vigil, members of the University community placed candles next to the Charger Statue to honor Goodart’s memory.

“We are all united not only in our desires to give tribute to Josh, but in our need as Chargers to do so,” said Amanda Pappas ’21, president of the Class of 2021. “We can use our candles to signify that Josh’s memory will always live on and live so bright. I implore you to hold your friends a little closer.”