BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The superstorm is now blamed for at least 61 deaths, including a recent University at Buffalo graduate living in New York City.
Theatre majors at the University at Buffalo work long hours in small groups getting ready for productions. And from 2006-2010, Jacob Vogelman was a big part of the UB theatre program.
"The student designers here are given the chance to realize their work in the theatre. And Jacob was able to realize the design for the cherry orchard," said Lynne Koscielniak, the director of design and technology at the UB Department of Theatre and Dance.
Jacob tragically died Monday in Brooklyn. He and his friend Jessie Streich-Kest were walking her dog one last time before heading back inside to wait out the storm. A large tree fell, crushing Vogelman and Kest.
"It's so surreal. It's such a tragic thing when a life is taken so soon with such potential," Koscielniak said.
She has been reminiscing about the young graduate. Jacob studied theatre design at UB. Instructors say his passion was props.
"He was most proud of his accomplishments as a student props master, where he worked across several different styles of theatre," Koscielniak said.
After graduating in May 2010, Jacob moved back to Brooklyn. He was currently working toward his master's degree in lighting design at Brooklyn College.
Koscielniak can't believe someone with such a bright future is gone.
"It really just is a reminder of how fragile life can be. And how precious it is. And how the time we have working together is special and it's very important to make the most of it," Koscielniak said.
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