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Matthew Grant

Matthew Grant

Matthew Grant: Fraternity brother inspired confidence

That kind of confidence — the kind that saw the potential in every situation — was Grant’s most telling trait, said Gage Gutierrez. Gutierrez, a friend of Grant’s since they met each other in Sigma Alpha Epsilon their freshman year, said that poise rubbed off on him and anyone else who knew him.

“Hanging out with Matt, you always felt more confident and it always seemed to end in a good time,” Gutierrez said.

Most students typically dread the idea of going to school, but Grant wasn’t like most students, wearing bright clothes that reflected his mood and power-walking to class, as excited about his education as he was about hanging out with friends.

“You could always spot him out walking around campus because he always had his bright red backpack and his Ray Bans,” Gutierrez said. “Whether he wanted to go out on a wild spring break or stay up 36 hours to study before finals, he did it 100 percent and got the most out of it.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that Grant was studying criminology, with aspirations of going to law school — a perfect destination for him to turn that confidence into a living.

However, Grant, along with senior Briana Hillard, was killed in a car accident in November. He was considered to be in excellent academic standing, another byproduct of his unwavering confidence, and will receive a posthumous bachelor’s degree in sociology, according to a University press release.

Grant’s parents, Myron and Linda, said they are proud and humbled by the way UNM is remembering their son.

“He loved being a member of the UNM family,” they said. “He would encourage his fellow graduates to live life fully.”

Grant did just that on a daily basis. He was social and outgoing, but also managed to strike that delicate balance with school work, putting the same magnitude of effort into academics as he did outside the classroom.

“(Grant was) one of those guys you were almost a little jealous that he could do both so well with balancing his school and social life,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said there’s no way someone could fill the void that Grant has left and make the same kind of impact that he made.

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“If you can imagine how fun it is to be around a person who lived a full life and crammed all the laughs, smiles and good memories into just 21 years,” Gutierrez said, “that is Matt Grant.”

David Lynch is a staff reporter at The Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.


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