How are you better today than you were yesterday?

Julia Paiano (

On September 13th 2020, Ursinus lost a new member of its community, Aidan Inteso. We lost Aidan to an undiagnosed case of cardiomegaly, a condition where the heart enlarges. Aidan had just recently entered Ursinus, coming in as a first-year student from Toms River, New Jersey.

At his high school, Aidan was a star ice hockey player and known community leader. He loved to fish, hike, and had a passion for the outdoors. His passion for data and analytics landed him an internship with Morgan Engineering. The combination of his passions made his time with Morgan Engineering a truly enjoyable one. He is described by everyone as loving, caring, and always ready to take the lead or up for a new adventure. Family, friends, and acquaintances alike all agree that Aidan held the ability to light up any room he walked into. 

During Homecoming weekend, the Ursinus community gathered to honor Inteso by planting a tree and a memorial that shortly followed. At the memorial, Inteso’s father and two close friends spoke. Additionally, the crowd heard kind and comforting words from Reverend Terri Ofori, Dean Missy Bryant, and Mr. Will Abele. The Gospel Choir performed a few songs, too. 

Aidan’s close friend Jake Harris shared just how important this tree will be to the Ursinus community. “That tree is very special to me. It truly does leave a piece of him.” Then, he told a story of how he and a few more of Inteso’s friends visited the tree last spring to bury some of his ashes and hang ornaments. “I spent time there on the first day of the semester as well as on the anniversary of his passing.” Harris said it was great to see Inteso’s family and to have them spend time on campus after the event. His little brother Nathan and friends from his hometown paid a visit, too. 

At the memorial, Inteso’s father, Michael, spoke of how grateful he and the rest of Aidan’s loved ones are for the outpouring support from the community. They know how loved and cherished he was and still is. Also, he spoke about how this support has turned into something joyous; the creation of the Aidan M. Inteso Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will aid a student from Toms River High School, the school Inteso attended, who will then continue their education at Ursinus. When Abele spoke about Aidan, he announced he would be donating $15,000 to the memorial scholarship. Intenso’s father announced that the fund already reached $67,000 prior to Mr. Abele’s donation, making for a large donation. 

The tree, planted right outside of Lower Wismer next to the Love Statue, has encouragement rocks surrounding it, as well as a plaque with a quote that Aidan wrote on the white board in his room. The quote is, “How are you better today than you were yesterday?” This quote is said to have been a testament of who Aidan was and who he aimed to be. Family and friends gathered around Aidan’s tree after the memorial and shared stories of him. It seemed that even the people who briefly knew him had something beautiful to share about their experiences with him. Aidan’s time on campus will continue to live on not only by his tree and plaque, but by everyone’s beautiful memory of him.