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Celebrating Mando


By S&B Staff

Armando Montaño ’12, recent Grinnell alumnus and former editor and writer for the Scarlet & Black, died on June 30, 2012 in Mexico City. He was 22.

Armando, known affectionately as Mando, was a summer intern for the Associated Press in Mexico City. He was eager to be starting journalism school at the University of Barcelona in the fall. Mando’s death was unexpected and the exact cause is unknown. He was not on assignment at the time of his death.

Mando started writing for the S&B as a first year. He joined the editorial staff as a second year and served as News Editor for three semesters. In his last year, he stepped down to focus on writing. At Grinnell, Mando earned a reputation as an eager and level-headed journalist who cared about sharing the compelling stories of the people he knew.

Mando was an integral part of the S&B and a fixture in the Student Publications office, where he broke some of our biggest stories while keeping the entire staff in good spirits through his impressions, dances and endless smiles. As editor, he worked tirelessly not only to produce a high-quality news section, but also to help his reporters improve their journalism and interview skills. His blend of knowledge and kindness helped writers live up to his high standards.

As a colleague, Mando took care of his fellow editors. His almost-painful massages frequently calmed down stressed editors trying to lay out impossible pages. He was passionate during staff arguments, but never angry or condescending. He was our most trusted advisor on all things journalism, but he never held his experience above ours.

Mando was known across campus for his friendly smile. He was a Spanish major and a Latin American Studies concentrator and hoped to use his skills to become a multilingual journalist. He studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the fall of his junior year, where he was excited to have a story on gay marriage in Argentina published by the Associated Press.

Between semesters, Mando earned internships and accrued bylines in the Associated Press, the New York Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among other newspapers. He was a Chipps Quinn Scholar, a program that supports young journalists of color.
Mando left a unique impression on the many journalists and sources he worked with. The Associated Press published a long obituary for Mando that ran in most major newspapers. Many journalists who knew him mourned his death publicly in newspapers, blogs, and TV news shows. “Armando Montaño” even trended on Twitter.

On Sunday, July 15, a memorial service was held for Mando near his home in Colorado Springs. Dozens of Grinnell students and alumni, joined by several professors and administrators, came to pay tribute alongside Mando’s family and other friends. The Scarlet & Black has set up a fund to further Mando’s legacy at Grinnell, and The New York Times Student Journalism Institute is creating a scholarship in his name.

An on-campus memorial for Mando will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, 2012 in Herrick Chapel, followed by a reception in the Bucksbaum rotunda. Mando’s parents, Diane Alters ’71 and Mario Montaño, will attend.

We at The Scarlet & Black love and miss Mando very much. We extend our deepest condolences to Mando’s parents and to the rest of his family and friends.

The S&B wants to leave this page as a public space for stories and memories about Mando, as a celebration of his life, rather than a description of his death. We invite you to share his articles and your memories, videos, photographs and more. Please post comments or links here and email files (or other ideas) to We published in our first issue this fall in Mando’s memory.

Click here to read more about Mando’s career and his death.

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  • C

    cherSep 19, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Louis Walsh also made a few digs about Cher immediately, branding your ex “moody and miserable”, that
    is certainly rather unprofessional caused by one of the X-factor judges.
    The most up-to-date “X Factor” injury, Aiden Grimshaw was rapid to defend Lloyd though, saying, “Cher is lovely. I think it was always usually hard for someone who got such bad stick at such a early age to go around grinning but she’s amazing and she has done really well. micron

    Cher Lloyd is usually on rather shaky ground ready popularity of course, if Katie Waissel is selected as out of the competition now, she may well become the brand new “villain” of
    the display. Louis Walsh was definitely right when he said,
    ” She must learn to be wonderful to everybody – because you will meet them on the way down. inch

  • J

    Joe EnglemanSep 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    There’s no way I can ever recount or recall all of the conversations I had with Mando sitting in the Publications Office. In the scheme of things the things that we shared may seem minor to some: Mando telling me to abbreviate post-colonial as “poco” and telling me the origin story behind the phrase, playing Astrud Gilberto’s “Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars” in Pubs all the time, and the daily interactions, which now I wish I’d appreciated more. In the scheme of things these things may seem small, but I think there is an even bigger takeaway from the person that Mando was (and it’s difficult to use the past tense here). Mando wrote about what he was passionate about. We should try to replicate what he did — follow our passions and try to make our dreams a reality.

  • D

    dave schechterJul 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Dave Schechter ’77

    My introduction to Mando came in February 2010. My nephew, Gabe Schechter, then was student government treasurer, apparently crashing from time-to-time on a couch in his office in “The Joe,” near the S&B office. I was on campus with other alums to participate in a Rosenfield program on journalism. Gabe, who also seemed to rent space in the cafe in “The Joe,” introduced me to his friend Armando, who was working to confirm the identity of the person who would be introduced the next day as the next president of the college. Mando was certain he had the story right but wanted to nail a few details before posting. We chatted a while in the S&B office. He was passionate about journalism, sure of a future in the profession and enthusiastic about almost every subject. He was proud of being Latinoa and gay.

    The next day was my panel discussion. My comments seemed well received and there were a number of students who stayed after to talk; including Mando, who stayed longer than the others. That afternoon was the introduction of Raynard Kington as the next Grinnell president.

    Ironically, Gabe was up in Maine with his parents at the end of June, as I was with my family, visiting my parents. My nephew and I talked about his graduation ceremony, which I watched live online, and he updated me about Mando being in Mexico City and plans for Barcelona. I was back at work at CNN in Atlanta a couple of days later and heard about the death of an AP journalist in Mexico City. I was stunned to learn that it was Mando and join my nephew and those of you posting here in mourning his passing. A death of someone with such promise at such a young age is a tragedy. Mando was, in many ways, emblematic not only of the future of my profession, but also this country.

  • E

    Eric MistryJul 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Mando could never be captured in words. He was one of those people whose personality transcends human language, but those of us who knew him would say his laugh, his smile, and his passion for journalism and writing defined him fairly well. It’s difficult to accept that he is gone, for he seemed so invincible. I’ve tried to write what Mando meant to me below.


    I met Mando in the Grille during my first year. Mando bounded up to me, said he knew my brother, thought he was a cool guy, and said I seemed pretty cool too. Within thirty seconds of meeting Mando, I knew I had a new friend. He was like that for nearly everyone he encountered. Friendly, open, and totally caring. If you were ever excited about something good that had happened for you, he would not only share in your excitement, but let everyone he met what great things you had done. Mando was enthusiasm personified.

    This enthusiasm carried over into all aspects of his life. Mando cared deeply about everything he did. In his writing, in his journalism, in his ever-present cheeseburger restaurant dream, Mando approached it with passion and that amazing smile. I remember when we worked on the Scarlet & Black’s “Election Center” and were setting up interviews and recording video. Even as the night grew long and we were getting closer to deadlines, Mando kept his great humor  going and his zeal for the project never seemed to cease. Mando was made for journalism. He had a special spark, a different perspective that made his writing special. I remember his excitement when he found out he had gotten into his program at Barcelona and when he found out about his AP internship. He was literally bouncing up and down in front of his computer and hugging everyone in sight. That was Mando. 

    The offices for the Scarlet and Black were where I really began to know Mando well.  I think that last semester we spent upwards of four hours a day in that office, sitting next to each other on the computers. We swapped stories, songs, essays, YouTube videos, websites, food blogs, and countless other things. We made late night runs down to the Grille for caffeine and snacks. He spent hours helping me understand journalistic writing styles and shared his beautiful way of looking at everything to find the story underneath it all. I read his stories for his non-fiction class and suggested tweaks and learned how Mando lived his life. I remember his moving essay on his multicultural experience and nachos, as well as the final story he had me look over, a story that, (sadly and ironically enough) dealt with the death of friends, the loss of innocence, and the march of time. 

    The times I shared with Mando were easily some of my best at Grinnell. He was a caring mentor, a brilliant writer, a born journalist, and above all, a perfect friend. I will never forget his laugh or his smile, nor that classic leather jacket or his bright orange portable hard drive (named for his father and full of his projects) that he carried everywhere. I could always count on Mando if I needed advice or simply needed to talk. He shared of himself so completely, and was amazing at sharing the stories of others. Mando was an incredible journalist, a superb storyteller, and he had so many stories left to tell. He was deeply loved, and will be missed terribly by all who had the bright fortune to meet him.

  • M

    Max CalenbergJul 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I posted this on Plans but figured I’d put it here, too:

    Heaven Daily Headlines for you:

    Mando, man lover, moves on to heartthrobs of yesteryear, dates with Brando, Dean and Grant already scheduled’s number 1 fan becomes Editor-in-Chief of Dailygorgeousangel.he

    Jesus introduced as “Mando’s friend” at local gathering

    Heaven’s servers crash as millions try to hchat Mando for heart-to-hearts simultaneously

    “Mando’s” is the new hotspot with a steady playlist of New Order, Robyn, Azealia Banks and Icono Pop’s “I Love It”

    Snorting, or SOLing, officially replaces laughter as primary expression for finding something humorous

    Locals, gleeful to finally have the chance, thumb their noses at earthlings mourning for more time with Mando

    ok, I’m done.

  • G

    GemmaJul 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Mando sin vida es un sinsentido. Repican campanas en S&B, the Washington Post, MSNBC, y muchas otras catedrales. Mis mas profundo lamento y condolor para Diane y Mario.

  • K

    Katherine ChungJul 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

    [Newspapr], magic realism, dictators, thrifting, Chipotle, cowboy boots, George Michael, cheese fries, Harris, high-fives, Diet Coke, TNLC. This is a fraction of the words that bob inside my head, with frenetic energy mixed with a gentle throb as I scramble for words that would describe my friendship with Mando. It just so happens, that they are all loves that I shared with him during our four-year tenure at a haven and playground we like to call Grinnell College. I first met him through Facebook, in the Grinnell Twelves Early Decision group page, as he speedily befriended its members through his enthusiasm for Grinnell College—a place I applied early to with a blind faith in its description included in my “Best 376 Colleges” handbook. While I was enjoying the early arrival of my Senior Spring in high school, Mando reached out to me. Though I am usually weary of strangers’ friend requests on Facebook, I could tell that Mando was a real winner. His status updates announced his excitement for the upcoming George Michael tour—a man well past his prime but can gyrate those hips given breaks every 15 minutes—the same concert I already had tickets to attend in Seattle. As if that wasn’t fate enough, I found out he was a Chipotle Ambassador, a prestigious position awarded via free burritos and sportswear by the corporation to a young and outgoing enthusiast with plentiful friends, aimed at promoting the brand—while I happened to be an employee at Chipotle that summer, largely motivated by the perks of getting free Chipotle everyday.

    When I finally met Mando in “real” life, I recognized him across a dining hall full of self-conscious first years; I didn’t recognize his face right away, because I was first staring at the giant mound of spinach leaves on his tray. There he was, bam, just as awesome as his Facebook identity, a true rarity these days. By some great luck, we were both placed in the Immigrant Identities tutorial with Valerie Benoist—a brilliant, captivating, and nurturing woman who would guide us in our academic and emotional journey as Spanish majors—discussing the celebrations and tears of immigrant families with an emphasis on Latin America, something we absolutely loved. We continued to have at least one class together every semester for the rest of our time at Grinnell, with the exception of study abroad when we parted ways to experience South America, mostly in a foreign tongue, conversations that often continued during late weekend nights and many a Tuesday nights. When I began writing for the S&B, Mando transformed into an incredibly thorough, critical, and inspiring editor, who called me out for off-color leads and commended me for my successes. Soon we worked side to side as editors, spending late nights yelling revolutionary slogans in Spanish and “cuddling” with Devin on broken spinning chairs (perhaps the two events were related). Mando eventually “resigned” from the paper to catch bigger fish, like the New York Times, at which point his presence in the office fortified as he saved his countless cover letters and Spanish ensayos open on the desktop and items of clothing mounted in dark corners. On the morning of Block Party Mando loyally put on “Faith” by the great George Michael per my request during a staff gathering at our friend’s apartment, which we grooved to for a fleeting moment until (probably) an underclassman switched to a more conventional party tune.

    I think the last time I communicated with Mando was regarding Justin Bieber, after I posted on his wall about his free concert in Mexico City post-Bieber’s announcement tweet, a concert I later found out Mando was covering for the Associated Press. Journalism was Mando’s passion, as was Spanish and Latin America, things he was able to combine and attain great success in by utilizing his talent through hard work. But his stream of friends, admirers, and loved ones ultimately attest to his limitless capacity to love life and revel in the world around him. There aren’t enough nouns or adjectives or hashtags to describe the essence of Mando’s being. All you had to do was meet Mando, just once, and you would know.

  • L

    Lauren T.Jul 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I just remembered this. I was at the gym and I stopped dead in my tracks when I remembered it.
    Some Friday evening this winter I was sitting in the deserted Grille alone, on my laptop or something, and all of a sudden Mando bursts into the room and tells me he has Chris Dorman’s car keys and asks me if I want to go for a ride. Fifteen minutes later I find myself in the passenger seat of Chris Dorman’s bright red sportscar, speeding down I-95 at 100 miles per hour. Just me and Mando under the cold starry Iowa sky. It was exhilarating. I remember how we talked about how romantic it would be if the boy of our choice picked us up and took us out driving like that. He had a special driving playlist he fussed over; I wish I could remember what we listened to now but I can’t. I think the reason I didn’t remember it until now is because, although we’d always liked each other, Mando and I weren’t particularly close. I wouldn’t be surprised (and the stories and memories people are sharing confirm this) if most people at Grinnell have a similar special Mando moments. He was the kind of exuberant, larger-than-life person that touches everyone.

  • K

    Katherine Atcheson '12Jul 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Mando, Mando, Mando. He was my first Grinnell friend, our bond solidified long before we stepped on campus for NSO, thanks to the internet and a trip my family happened to take to Colorado.

    He and I stayed friends for all four years, and he never failed to greet me with an enthusiastic “Hey Kat!” and a smile, even after a newspaper late night or in the middle of Hell Week. His positivity was utterly infectious, his love genuine, and when we were back on campus after breaks he always gave me a hug so big and tight that my feet lifted off the ground.

    What stands out for me the most though, was not his talent or his endless supply of energy (often fueled by Diet Coke), but how, despite having a million friends and thousands of things to do each day, he never left me hanging when I needed him most. Mando always had my back. My favorite story of him isn’t particularly funny, but it shows how deeply he cared for his friends. I had a terrible case of tonsillitis during my third year that eventually had me admitted to the ER, but before I went to the hospital, I was quarantined to my dorm room. My doctor had just called in a different prescription for me to try, the first one being ineffective, but I couldn’t go pick it up, given my state. I sent out a mass text, begging for someone to pick up my meds, saying they could use my car and that my mom had already paid for the stuff over the phone, I just needed someone to get it. Mando was my only reply. He was at my door ten minutes later, asking for my keys and promising to be back soon. Mando had skipped lunch to help me, and instead of acting bothered, he even had the consideration to ask if I wanted some juice or anything else while he was out.

    Of course, there were also a ton of funny moments, but this is what summed Mando up for me. When it all came down, no one had my back like him.

    All my love and then some more, boo. I miss you like cray.

  • K

    Kyle WaltersJul 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Although I saw Mando around and often exchanged smiles and hellos with him, I only really spent time with him as we took Gemma Sala’s Nationalism course together. We edited each other’s papers for a midsem over the course of a couple of days, and although he gave me lots of great feedback and very graciously accepted mine, each time we quickly got off topic and began talking about what was on our minds as almost-seniors: the future, happiness, life, social justice, the universe and everything. I came away thinking “What a gem of a human being.” Mando, I hope I can channel your can-do attitude, openness to the ideas of others and desire for everyone to be fulfilled and happy. Much love, Kyle.

  • L

    Linnea HurstJul 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Mando was the first Grinnellian I ever met. During admitted student’s weekend at the activities fair my mom mentioned to a Professor that I was interested in writing. The Professor’s face lit up as he suggested we go talk to Mando, “If you are at all interested in journalism or our campus newspaper, he’s the guy to talk to. He is one of the most charismatic and friendly people I know, you guys will love him!” Walking over I remember wondering what kind of person we would meet. Surely this Professor was exaggerating. Yet as soon as my mom and I started talking to Mando I realized that the Professor was simply stating the facts. It was so refreshing to not feel awkward or inferior as a prospie talking to a current Grinnellian, but instead fall easily into a humorous and passionate conversation. I don’t remember the exact conversation, but I know by the time we left Mando, my mom and I were all cracking up. Mando will always be that beautiful, hilarious, and genuinely friendly S & B editor who convinced me to come to meetings first year. The fact that a mere five minute conversation with him led me to do something I otherwise wouldn’t have only hints at the amount he must have inspired those he was close to.

  • A

    Alexa StevensJul 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Mando snorted when he laughed.

    Up until one fateful night when we sat at the same table in Burling together with a group of mostly-procrastinating seniors and me (one of two first years at the table), I didn’t know anyone else at Grinnell snorted besides me. I felt very self-conscious about it, but often left it unaddressed, covering up my discomfort with an awkward comment.

    We talked while everyone plugged away at their laptops, headphones in, about his hometown and his parents and my high school experience and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And then I must have said something funny, because he started laughing so hard he started snorting. Which made me start laughing and snorting. And we were just sitting in Burling for a minute or two just snorting while everyone around us kept working on their laptops, obviously accustomed to constant laughter from Mando. And I had never felt so comfortable full-out laughing in a public place before. He smiled at me and said, “Wait, you snort too? That’s so cute!” And all I could do was blush and smile and say “Thanks.”

    He made a lot of people light up in a way that was indescribable. One of the reasons I looked up to Mando was because he brought out confidence and excitement in everyone he talked to. When Mando was around, everyone seemed to be at his or her best. I hope the people who knew Mando keep that light going and allow his memory to bring out the best in them everyday.

    So much love.

  • M

    Mary ZhengJul 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    The first time I met Mando was on my plane ride back to Grinnell after winter break. I had the window seat and I had my head down when he walked down the aisle, but I perked up immediately after I saw what nice shoes he had. ‘Awesome sense of style…’ I thought. The rest of his outfit was great, too. As soon as he got situated, he asked if I went to Grinnell. The rest of the plane ride consisted of him being genuine, attentive, and inquisitive. My first semester had showed me people’s years didn’t determine how they treated others, but I was nonetheless honestly shocked at how interested this fourth year was in a little first year’s life. Four four hours we talked about our dreams, time at Grinnell…pretty much our lives. From then, every time I saw him in the JRC or the loggia–anywhere on campus–we always greeted each other with big, big smiles.

    People tend to go crazy with superlatives when describing someone who’s passed, but with Mando, anything less would be a lie.

  • K

    KelseyJul 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Mando was one of the first, and best, people I ever met at Grinnell. He had the most incredible smile. Some of my favorite memories from my time at school involve Mando, and for all his talent and journalistic potential, I will remember him always as an excellent shenanigan companion and an all-around stand-up guy.
    My heart breaks for the family and friends that knew him best. The weight of his loss is staggering.
    Mando, say hi to Whitney for me, k?
    Love always.

  • H

    HannahJul 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I wasn’t lucky enough to know Mando as a friend, only in that way you know anyone who goes to Grinnell — you see them around, you recognize their immediate friends, perhaps you have had a conversation with them in line at the Grille once or twice or seen them up on those infamous platforms at Harris on a drunken evening. But I will always remember one time my freshman year when Mando was visiting friends next door to my room on Lazier 3rd. Somehow, their group moved into my room — perhaps looking for tape to borrow or textbook for a common class, and Mando and I got to chatting. I remember finding him enthusiastic to the point of kind of freaking me out. He nodded so vigorously at everything I said I thought his head was going to fall off, and the skeptical part of me wondered if this guy was for real, because, let’s be honest, is ANYONE that friendly these days?

    This was around the time I had just found out I that a play I had written was going to be produced and performed in Chicago, and my friend brought it up as we were all chatting and I was explaining to Mando about my love of theatre and the class I was in at the time. I remember that Mando was one of the first and only people I ever really talked about that success with. I was too shy and embarrassed about the success to really tell anyone, and I was semi-furious at my friend for bringing it up in the first place. But Mando was absolutely amazed and proud that this was happening. He asked me so many questions from what the play was about to where it was going to be produced to how I had come up with my ideas…questions no one else had taken the time to ask me, and all to someone he had met less than 30 seconds earlier. I remember smiling down at my feet and being embarrassed that a stranger was being so enthusiastic about this little success of mine, one that I hadn’t even taken the full time to enjoy. My neighbors rushed Mando out of our room to their destination about midway through our conversation — a conversation peppered with my protestations of “Oh, it’s not really that exciting” and his enthusiastic exclamations of “Wow!” or “That’s so great!” We never had time to finish the conversation, and I don’t think I ever really spoke to him again during his time at Grinnell. But, from that day forth, whenever I saw him around campus I would think to myself, “Hey, that’s the guy who knows about my play.” Even when I was too shy to tell anyone else, even my advisors, about my success, it always gave me comfort that someone on campus knew about my achievement, and thought I was somehow cooler or more put together because of it. That tiny conversation in a first year dorm room allowed me to claim my success because he was so proud of me. This stranger that I hardly knew took an interest in me and allowed me to share my story — something I now know from his journalism friends that Mando was incredibly good at. Mando was so many things to so many people, and I feel disingenuous claiming even a shred of grief in his passing because it has always been so clear that there are so many people who love him and know him better than I ever did. And yet, to me, being the “guy who knows about my play” was, in a way, a testament to everything amazing and awe-inspiring about Mando that made him the incredible person he was and the incredible asset to our community that he continues to be.

  • P

    Phoebe Lostroh, Grinnell '94Jul 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Grinnellians who worked with Mando on the S & B should know that Mando also made a big impression on Grinnell alumni many years his senior. He was so obviously a beautiful, strong person, with a tremendous presence, a commitment to making the most of every second of the present, and a stellar future. I was so thrilled when I learned that he had decided to go to Grinnell for his undergraduate work, and so happy when he graduated and joined the small family of Grinnell graduates from Colorado Springs. The loss of that future is a tragedy of infinite proportions.

  • M

    Mariam AsaadJul 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

    The second time I ever saw Mando, he walked up to me and my roommate in the Grill, ate all of my junior mints and asked Sam a ton of questions about me when I got up to get my food (which she obviously told me about later). When I sat back down he said right away “I want to get to know my writers, this is important to me. And I want to know why you don’t write for news”. I told him it intimidated me. He told me I had to take a story or face his wrath (?) and that he would help me as much I needed, this is why he was an editor. The next Sunday, I picked up a news story and wrote it. After that, newspapr stopped freaking me out and I actually enjoyed it. Most importantly, through this one tiny exchange that was delivered through mouthfuls of junior mints and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, I learned that I could do more than I thought. Mando was one person I always expected to hear great things about– just not like this or this soon. <3

  • A

    Alex McConnellJul 3, 2012 at 4:37 am

    (Reposting this from Facebook)

    My favorite Mando story: The summer after our first year, Mando came out to California to visit Brad Gordon. One night they both came out to see me in Claremont. We ended up going to a party with a lot of people from my high school, including a bunch of younger kids I’d never met before. We’d been at the party for about 30 minutes when one of these kids said “Hi” and asked who I was. Before I could answer, someone else from across the room yells “Oh, that’s Mando’s friend.” In one half hour, Mando managed to meet and befriend so many people that he was essentially introducing me to half my high school. I don’t think I’ll ever know another person who made friends so effortlessly and so earnestly with everyone he met. That’s the Mando that we all loved and that’s the Mando I’m always going to remember.

  • J

    Joe WlosJul 3, 2012 at 12:00 am

    The night that we created the Michelle Bachmann video (Alyce posted about it above) was the first time I worked closely with Mando. He was incredible–professional, productive, humorous, and insightful. I was only a first year, but he made me feel like a valuable member of the team, teaching me the most important qualities of journalism and leadership. He became my role model, my adviser, and my friend.

    His death is devastating, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and his friends. I will always “CorDON” off a special place in my heart to remember his warmth and his spirit.

  • V

    Victor PinheiroJul 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I first met Mando in the beginning of Fall ’11 when he asked to interview me about the Grinnell College Christian Fellowship and the story behind its derecognition as an SGA-sponsored student group. Although I hadn’t met him before, I knew he was gay, and I was nervous that he might have felt hurt or targeted in some way by things he might have heard, or maybe that he wouldn’t be able to write a fair article. When I started talking to him I realized right away that I didn’t have to worry about that because he clearly cared so much about giving everyone a chance to express themselves and to be heard. He cared deeply for our community and for each person that was involved. Specifically, he really hoped that instead of rejection there could be reconciliation between Christians and homosexuals — and not just at the College. Mando gave me hope that things can change, and I hope I can pass that on to others.

  • A

    Avery RowlisonJul 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I remember the first time Mando showed me We scrolled through boy after boy in their tiny clothes and rock hard abs for two whole hours, Mando and I making comments about each one. “He’s too hairy. His pants are so low! Is that a nipple ring?” And we found that we had pretty similar tastes in boys. After that, every time I would walk into the Pubs office (he would already be there because it was his home base), he would say, “Avery, Now.” Even now, Mando, I on the daily.

  • A

    Alyce EatonJul 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Here’s a video we put together (with Solomon, Joe Wlos, and Avery) after Michele Bachmann’s bizarre visit to Grinnell. Mando is the narrator:

    I remember the late night, the snacks, all the tweets, and making you say certain parts over and over again. It was such a big thing, so many hours for 1:03. “CorDON” “CORdon” “It doesn’t seem likely.” Boy, were we excited when HuffPo picked it up, but looking back at all of your accomplishments, that seems like no big deal.

    Reporting from Grinnell, Armando Montaño, the Scarlet and Black.