Calvin mourns the loss of junior Nick Moll


Joey Snella

Moll, a junior at Calvin, is remembered for his fun-loving and spontaneous personality.

Those who knew Nick Moll, 21, remember him as adventurous, optimistic and caring. “He always had a positive attitude no matter what he was going through and wouldn’t hesitate to put his plans on hold to help someone else,” said his housemate, Daniel Johnson. “There was never a time I saw him where he didn’t have a smile on his face.”

Moll, a junior studying accounting with plans to pursue a master’s degree, was assaulted in his hometown of Visalia, California on the morning of Dec. 24. After six days in a medically induced coma, he died from his injuries.

The Calvin community mourns Moll’s loss alongside his family in Visalia.

 “We are so thankful for the family of God during this time. We are thankful for the Calvin community, Nick’s brothers and sisters in Christ, professors, staff and administrators,” Moll’s parents said in a message relayed to the university through an email from President Michael Le Roy.

His closest friends at Calvin were his floormates on 2nd Huizenga, where Moll lived for his first two years of college. After moving off campus his junior year, he continued to live with a few of his former floormates.

“Nick is the kind of guy you only read about,” his housemate and friend Joey Snella told Chimes. “From smuggling a tarantula onto the floor freshman year to running a whole roll of toilet paper down the dorm vacuum system and clogging it for weeks, Nick was the dude you wanted to be with.”

Nick’s diverse interests reflected his fun-loving, spontaneous personality. He loved snowboarding, animals, drawing and art, and listening to death metal. According to his friends, his pets included seven lizards, an aquarium full of fish, a tarantula, and a hedgehog he shared with his girlfriend. As a full-time student, he also worked 40 hours a week as a manager at Pet Supplies Plus.

Moll was a known animal lover who had several pets. (Baylee Peterson)

On their first date, Nick and his girlfriend, Baylee Peterson, a nursing student at Muskegon Community College, went to a pet store.

Moll and his girlfriend, Baylee Peterson, dated for two years. (Baylee Peterson)

“We fell in love with this chameleon. We couldn’t stop thinking about it. So, our second date we went back to the pet store and Nick bought this chameleon for us,” Peterson said. “… On the way home with our chameleon, he said, ‘So, since we have a child together, will you be my girlfriend?’”

The couple had been together for two years when Moll passed away.

Nearly a year ago, in January 2021, Moll was in a serious car accident that left him in a neck brace. His exuberant personality was undeterred.

“We were all blowing up his phone to see if he was still alive,” said Snella. “[Nick] responded back to our floor group chat with a neck brace on still with dried blood, but with the nicest smile you have ever seen. We joked for a long time how only Nick could look that good after almost being paralyzed.”

After his car accident in 2020, Moll was supported by his friends at Calvin. (Joey Snella)

Upon returning to his dorm floor, Moll hung his TV from the ceiling, so he could watch it with his neck brace on.

“He called me to come over and try it, so I laid in his bed, and he started playing a show,” said Johnson, Nick’s roommate on 2nd Huizenga. “I proceeded to get up but was told to stay and we laid side-by-side in the small twin bed all snuggled up and ended up watching three episodes like that.”

“Nick was my best friend. I could walk into his room and always have a good time. He rarely said no to any idea. He was always ready for an adventure,” said junior Jacob Siebenga, one of Moll’s former floormates.

One such adventure was an impromptu trip to Montreal his freshman year to get a tattoo from a celebrity artist. Nick had contacted the artist prior to leaving and arranged to pay $4,000 for a full-sleeve tattoo. “The first thing he does is he came to my room with Joey (Snella), and he just starts making it rain. Just four grand, everywhere. It was crazy,” said Ryan Vandenberg, a senior who lived on 2nd Huizenga with Moll during his freshman year. “Then he flies to Montreal, when he had never been to Canada or Montreal, had no place to stay, and only one way to communicate with the tattoo artist over Instagram DMs.”

“That’s the kind of guy Nick was. He was super spontaneous and adventuresome. Normal people wouldn’t go try to survive a night in Montreal, but he thrived,” said Vandenberg.

Moll is survived by his parents, Dane and Valerie, and two brothers, Nathan and Case. His memorial service took place on Jan. 8 and was livestreamed at Calvin.