LANGSTON, Oklahoma -- Langston University is mourning the death of one of its students, 24-year-old Joshua Griffin of Tulsa.
Griffin drowned Wednesday in the Cimarron River near Guthrie.
Griffin was walking in about two feet of water in the Cimarron River with a handful of other volunteers for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife searching for a fish called the Arkansas shiner.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Griffin fell into a hole in the river after a sand bar collapsed. Attempts to save Griffin were unsuccessful after he slipped into much deeper water.
Langston University President JoAnn W. Haysbert offered her condolences to Griffin and his family. Dr. Haysbert described Griffin as a student who was always visible, friendly, and very courteous.
"Joshua was one of those students you never forget," Dr. Haysbert said. "Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends. This is a great loss to the Langston community and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy."
Griffin was four credits short of a bachelor's degree in animal science.
Dr. Marvin Burns, dean of the school of agriculture, said Griffin had applied for graduate school at Oklahoma State and was a student who was extremely interested in working with wildlife.
Fellow student RaShaun Robinson was in Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the LU Ambassadors with Griffin. He remembers Griffin's upbeat attitude.
"Josh was a very happy person to be around. Every time I came in contact with him, he was a happy person," Robinson said.
"Everyone is pretty much in a state of shock right now. I really wish I could just pick up the phone and call him."
Griffin was a 2005 graduate of Tulsa's Central High School.
Funeral arrangements are pending.