By Gene Crunk
The Associated Student Body Senate unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night honoring Ole Miss student Alexandria “Ally” Kostial, who was killed on July 20. The resolution recognizes Kostial for her positivity and involvement on campus.
Kostial, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, was about to enter her third year in the university’s School of Business when she was killed. She was studying marketing and was a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity.
Kostial, 21, served as President of the Golf Club and was a member of Alpha Phi sorority. She also worked for campus recreation and was known throughout the university for her heavy involvement with student organizations.
The ASB Senate chose to recognize Kostial because of her “immense contributions to the university” and “the powerful legacy she will leave behind.”
Spencer Johns, an ASB Senator who represents the School of Engineering, did not know Kostial personally. However, he said her impact is apparent throughout the university community.
“I’ve never heard of someone on this campus who did more, who knew more people,” Johns said. “It’s our responsibility to make sure that the fire that was in her heart burns on forever.”
The resolution, in part, states that Kostial showed “exemplary embodiment of the Ole Miss creed.” The creed affirms the student body’s commitment to respect, dignity, fairness, civility, and integrity, and ASB members believe Kostial was a strong representative of those positive traits.
A pilates and yoga instructor in Oxford, Kostial was known for her energetic and encouraging style. At a Sunday evening event celebrating what would have been Kostial’s 22nd birthday, the Alexandria “Ally” Kostial Mind and Body Fund was announced in a partnership with the University of Mississippi Foundation.
Friends said the fund will be used to name the new South Campus Recreation Center’s Mind and Body Studio after Kostial. Originally, the fundraising goal was $150,000, but organizers say that number has been cut in half.
This initiative is spearheaded by friends of Kostial, who hope to honor her in an impactful way. Kostial’s cousin, Kristi Kelley, said at Sunday’s event that Kostial had “the ambition and ability to impact and influence everyone and anyone.”
Fund organizers said online that Kostial’s “kindness and radiant spirit touched the hearts of all who knew her.” They said that they hope to dedicate the new mind and body studio in Ally’s memory so that it can “bring joy and peace to those who use it.”
During Tuesday night’s ASB meeting, officials mentioned the fund and said more information is forthcoming. It was not immediately clear how ASB plans to support the initiative.
A deputy from the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department found Kostial’s body on July 20 on the north side of Sardis Lake near Harmontown. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Kostial’s death was the result of “multiple gunshot wounds.”
Brandon Theesfeld, an Ole Miss student, allegedly kidnapped Kostial before shooting her and dumping her body. He was arrested on a murder charge in Memphis on July 22, two days after her body was found.
Theesfeld, 22, was indicted Aug. 30 by a Lafayette County grand jury on both murder and kidnapping charges. His attorney, Tony Farese, requested a psychological evaluation for his client in place of a bond.