Students and professors at Utah Valley State College held a memorial service Tuesday for a drama student who drowned while on a school trip to California.

The service for New Zealand native Christopher Fankhauser was in the Black Box Theater at the Orem campus. He was 27.The UVSC sophomore was swimming at San Clemente State Beach after a two-day performance at Chapman University's American College Regional Theater Festival. Fankhauser was one of 13 students performing a student-written play featured at the prestigious event.

Crashing waves pounding the California coast believed to be caused by weather phenomenon El Nino pulled him under, officials said.