Nolan Michael Burch was born on November 7, 1996, and grew up in Williamsville, NY. A very good student, he was involved in many sports with his favorites being hockey and baseball.
He attended Canisius High School, which introduced him to students from all over the Buffalo area. He was known for his keen ability to bring his friends from middle and high school into one large circle of lifelong friends.
In August of 2014, Nolan began his freshman year of college at West Virginia University. He was taking a full course load while working a part-time job. He wanted to get more involved on campus and debated between joining club hockey or joining a fraternity. Not wanting to over-extend himself, he chose to pledge the fraternity.
After three months of pledging, November 12th, 2014, marked the night when the brothers would finally be initiated. However, this event was an unsanctioned event as the fraternity had lost its charter earlier that week.
On this final night of hazing, Nolan was instructed to drink a full bottle of whiskey. After doing so, Nolan tragically overdosed on alcohol and became unresponsive. More than an hour passed before anyone stepped in and called 911.
CPR was administered for a long time, which allowed Nolan to make it to the hospital and be placed on life support. Almost 300 people were able to see Nolan one last time as they went into his room, two at a time, to be by his side. Nolan’s lifelong friends from Buffalo, his new friends from college and, most importantly, his family all had time to say good-bye.
Nolan was taken off life support on November 14, 2014, and passed away at 11:43 a.m. due to acute ethanol intoxication. His blood-alcohol level was 0.493. However, because CPR was administered, Nolan was able to save four lives through organ donation. His lungs, kidneys and liver all allowed others to live on.