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Memorial Held To Honor MBA Student Taylor Force

Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-19 00:43:04-04

Members of the Vanderbilt came together to remember and honor Taylor Force, a graduate student killed in a terrorist attack in Israel.

The memorial, which was held exclusively for students and faculty, was held at Benton Chapel on campus Friday at 4 p.m.

Several classmates and professors shared stories, and remembered him for his kindness, compassion and intelligence.

"We will miss seeing him in the normal spots," said Margot Kaplan, a MBA student at Vanderbilt.  "I find comfort knowing I will learn from his actions, and reflect the good qualities I learned from him."

"One of Taylor’s best traits was his ability to connect with everyone," said Andree Smyth, a MBA student at Vanderbilt.  "He made an impact on everyone."

Force was a 28-year-old MBA student at the Owen Graduate School of Management, and a West Point Graduate who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was traveling to Israel with 28 other graduate students to learn about global entrepreneurship.

Police said a group of Palestinians launched a series of attacks in the city of Jaffa, near Tel Aviv. Force was stabbed multiple times and killed. A total of 10 other people were wounded in the attack. His attacker was shot and killed by Israeli police.

No other students, faculty and staff were injured, and all have returned home safely.

Several U.S. leaders have condemned the violence as terrorism. A separate memorial was held for Force in his hometown in Lubbock, Texas this week.  His father said the outpouring of support meant a lot.

"The main thing I want to convey to everyone, is thanks for being taylor’s friend, classmate, and for having a good influence on his life," said Stuart Force, Taylor's Father.

During the memorial at Vanderbilt, the school announced a new scholarship will honor Force.  It will support graduates of the U.S. military academies attending the Own Graduate School of Management.  Contributions to the found may be sent to: Vanderbilt Gift Processing Office, PMB 407727, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-7727, attn: Taylor Force Memorial Scholarship.

A gofundme account to help Force's family with funeral expenses has raised over $46,000.