Duke student Matthew Grape died in September 2011 when the driver of the car he was riding in lost control and struck a tree. The 21 year old was a senior when his life was cut tragically short.
The driver of the car was also a Duke student and served time for DWI.
Grape's mother, Linda Oliver Grape, has written an open letter to all Duke students that was published in the Duke Chronicle on Thursday.
Grape's letter pleads with students to be safe, to not drink and drive, and to consider the consequences of their actions. She opens by recalling that day in September when she learned her son was dead.
She goes on to prompt readers to imagine their families being forced to make funeral arrangements, going to a dorm room to pack up their belongings, and going to the airport to receive a body shipped in a white cardboard box.
The letter provided powerful images that seemed to resonate with students on campus.
"People don't really give thought to the consequences, they think it can never happen to them, but in a split second your entire life can change, your entire life can be gone," said freshman Hannah Moyles.