Former psychology major was trying to help
THE SANTA CLARA
January 30, 2014
It was the ultimate sacrifice: a man giving up his life to save someone else’s.
Philip Scholz, a 2001 graduate of Santa Clara, died last Monday, Jan. 20 after being struck by a moving train at the Santa Clara Caltrain station across the street from campus.
Surveillance footage at the station showed Scholz, 35, looking at an unidentified male who had wandered onto the tracks. The video then showed Scholz get on his stomach and reach for the stranger.
The train, which was not scheduled to stop at the Santa Clara station, came barreling through at 50-70 miles per hour around 5:30 p.m., according to Caltrain officials.
“It … appears Mr. Scholz was attempting to help the surviving victim, based on preliminary information,” Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn told the San Jose Mercury News.
Scholz died on impact, while the surviving victim remains hospitalized and in critical condition, unable to speak with police, according to reports.
Officials did not release Scholz’s name until this past Friday.
Scholz was born in Seattle, Wash. and attended Shorewood High School in Shorewood, Wash. before moving to the Bay Area for college.
It was at the Mission Campus where he met his eventual wife, Emily Scholz.
While living in Graham Residence Hall during his freshman year, Scholz was introduced by a mutual friend to Emily, who lived in the nearby Campisi Residence Hall. The two remained friends during their time at Santa Clara, but did not start dating until a year after they had both graduated, according to Emily Scholz.
The couple was married in 2006 and had been living in Pleasanton, Calif. ever since.
While at Santa Clara, Scholz majored in psychology and minored in business, but “was not a stellar student,” according to his wife.
“He frequently reminded me, ‘Cs get degrees,’” said Emily Scholz in an email.
But his grades were good enough to graduate and land a job with the local computer graphics company Nvidia. Scholz worked his way up the ranks to become the company’s Marketing Manager for Online Retail as of January 2012, according to Game Front’s Devin Connors.
Nvidia issued an official statement to Game Front following Scholz’s death.
“(Scholz) was beloved by everyone here for his heart, his passion and his incredible strength of character,” said the statement. “We are working to assist his family during this very difficult time.”
Nvidia co-founder Chris Malachowsky told the Mercury News that the Scholz’s act “completely resonates with something consistent with the guy.”
“He goes down as a hero in my book”
“I’m sure his knee-jerk, no hesitation to help someone else is what caused this — he goes down as a hero in my book,” said Malachowsky.
Emily Scholz shared similar sentiments with NBC Bay Area.
“He saw someone in danger and did what he could, or what he thought he could, to assist,” she said.
Memorial services for Scholz will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building in Pleasanton, Calif. on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.
Contact Nick Ostiller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4849.