The Leon Family gathers at a maple tree at the center of University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus planted in memory of Nicholas J. Leon, who died in a tragic accident on Sept. 8, 1999, on the school’s campus. From left are Nicholas’ parents, Peter Leon and Ruth Leon, his niece Jacquelyn and USM Dean of Students Rodney Mondore. SUBMITTED PHOTO

GORHAM — Monday, Sept. 9 was a somber day for a Wells family as they gathered to remember former University of Southern Maine student Nicholas John Leon marking the 20-year anniversary of his accidental and tragic death at the school.

He was a graduate of Calais High School and fell from his seventh-story dorm room window at Dickey Hall on USM’s Gorham campus on Sept. 8, 1999, at the age of 19 just one week after starting classes.

A special service was conducted at the center of USM’s Gorham Campus where the school planted a tree and placed a plaque in his memory.

Leon’s parents Peter and Ruth Leon, and his niece, Jacquelyn Nichole Leon, along with USM Dean of Students Rodney Mondore and USM Assistant Vice President David Roussel paid their respects to the family at the service.

Peter Leon read a Bible passage from John 14, his mother shared a poem, and his niece concluded the gathering by singing “Amazing Grace.”