Friends Remember Olivia "Liv" Rotondo
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 21:09
Poet E.E. Cummings once said, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” According to her friends’ accounts, then, junior Olivia “Liv” Rotondo never wasted a day of her life.
“What I will say is that Liv had more passion for happiness than I've ever seen in a person before,” Rotondo’s friend Chloé Guadissart said. “She had an infectious personality, an infectious laugh.”
The 20-year-old communications major’s life was cut short this past Saturday night at Electric Zoo 2013, an electronic music festival held on Randalls Island in New York City. Her death was due to an apparent overdose of the drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or molly.
Even as they grieved, friends of the bubbly student echoed the sentiment that Rotondo’s zest for life was unmatched.
Rotondo was one of student Mike Oldenburg’s first friends at school, and he said that her sense of humor is what he will remember most.
“Sarcasm should have been her middle name; everything she said was funny,” Oldenburg said. “Her personality was captivating. People were drawn towards this loud and goofy girl everywhere she went.”
“She was loud and she had an absolutely amazing smile that lit up any room,” Guadissart said. “If Olivia was somewhere, everyone knew it and that's what made her so unbelievable.”
Rotondo also lit up the courts and fields on the university’s campus as a member of the UNH Dance Team.
“The entire team is extremely saddened by the passing of Olivia,” a spokesperson for the dancers said. “She was a great asset to the team. Olivia was someone who could always create laughter and lighten the mood… She was such a free spirit that brought a smile to so many faces. She was truly a fun, beautiful and loving girl.”
Rotondo’s passion for both dance and life began well before college, according to Maria Corsini. The two were best friends during their elementary and middle school years in their shared hometown of North Providence, R.I.
“She was so funny and such a goofball,” Corsini said. “She was such a talented dancer, also. My mom and I were always amazed when we saw her tap dance...her feet moved so fast.”
Though her friends and family are devastated by the loss of their dear “Liv,” they are thankful for the years that they were able to spend with her.
“I'm going to miss her hugs the most. …We hugged each other as hard as we could and until we couldn't breathe, it felt like,” Oldenburg said. “And for that I'm grateful to have known her for such a brief period of time.”
Guadissart said that she misses her friend more than she can put into words, but that their friendship was truly a blessing.
“She was my rock at school - she kept me laughing and made every day worth living,” Guadissart said. “For the rest of my life, everything I do, I'm doing for her.”
UNH released the following statement Sunday: “We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time and are focused on providing support and resources to our campus community.” Anyone who needs assistance in dealing with grief should contact the UNH Counseling Center. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 24-hour help is available by calling 603-862-2090.