Danielle Draney honored by friends and sorority family


A photo of Danielle Draney and the Phi Sigma Sigma letters are put up during the candlelight vigil on Wednesday, Feb. 9. Draney was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma and involved in Greek life at Sacramento State. (Photo by Alexis Hunt)

Tyra Green

Danielle Draney, a criminal justice major and member of Phi Sigma Sigma, died in a fatal car crash on Friday, Feb. 4. 

Draney was a student at Sacramento State and was expected to graduate in May. 

An active member of Phi Sigma Sigma, Draney was involved in Greek life on campus and after graduation had plans of going to law school to become a lawyer. 

She is remembered for having a love for Sacramento as a city and Sac State as a school according to Draney’s sorority little and Sac State alumna Kelly Lee.

“Even if you didn’t know her a lot, even if you had just a class with her or you had a ten-second conversation with her you totally felt her presence and it sticks with you-her impact,” Lee said. 

Danielle Draney, a criminal justice major and Phi Sigma Sigma member poses in front of a Sacramento mural next to the University Theater at Sacramento State. Draney is remembered for having a love for not only Sacramento State but for the city of Sacramento as well. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Lee)

Draney was a part of Panhellenic, which is a national group that represents all college fraternities and sororities. She served on the committee as President and Vice President of Recruitment.

“It meant a lot to her because she really understood sorority life and the benefits of

sisterhood,” Lee said. “She was from the Brentwood area, so she definitely found value in a home away from home.”

While attending Sac State, Draney was in pre-law and often checked in with her adviser to make sure she was on track to graduate. 

“She was very hardworking and very dedicated to her studies and definitely made sure to check in on her degree progress,” said Dr. Sue C. Escobar, Professor & Cohort Advisor for Criminal Justice Majors at Sac State. 

Draney is remembered as working hard and being very passionate about her future, according to Escobar. 

“Her passion and drive about literally anything, it was incredible, and to know that she was going into such an impactful field was just inspiring,” Lee said.

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, Phi Sigma Sigma honored Draney with a candlelight vigil in the University Union Ballrooms to celebrate her life.  

Draney was committed to serving her community here at Sac State through Panhellenic. Reagan Schwary, a senior at Sac State in the honors college for communications and minoring in global engagement and leadership studies, met Draney while serving on the Panhellenic board together. 

“She was such a bright light wherever she went,” Schwary said. “It’s really hard knowing that she’s no longer here because I think she was the rock for our community and it’s really amazing how much of a community she built within Sac State.” 

Brittney Watson, a third-year criminal justice major, became close to Draney through her little, Lee, and their relationship grew after Draney became Panhellenic President and Watson served as one of her Panhellenic delegates. 

“She was just someone that you appreciated, you appreciated her time, her company, her willingness, and also just her acceptance,” said Watson. “She accepted everyone for who they are and that was one of her biggest things.”

Draney was said to be the type of person who didn’t judge someone for who they were and she is remembered by many as someone who loved people for who they are. 

She is remembered by her family, friends, and the Greek life community at Sac State.