The Mizzou family came together Friday, April 5, to celebrate the lives of nine students who died during the 2012-13 academic year. The students enriched the lives of all those who they encountered and will be missed by the University of Missouri community.
- Aditi Avhad, health administration, Mumbai, India
- Carolyn Dolan, political science, Kirkwood, Mo.
- Emily Ferguson, business, Kirkwood, Mo.
- Michael Heney, business, Chesterfield, Mo.
- Emily Jackson, arts and science, Lebanon, Mo.
- Timothy Kelly Needham, business, Peoria, Ill.
- Cole Patrick, arts and science, St. Joseph, Mo.
- Christine Ricaña, physical therapy, Jefferson City, Mo.
- Stephanie Schroder, psychology, Williamston, Mich.
“It is a very difficult, sad time, and we mourn with you,” Chancellor Brady Deaton said. “Today we celebrate the many contributions they have made. They have been gifts to us as part of our family.”
Christian Basi, associate director of the MU News Bureau, played piano while his wife, Kate Basi, an MU alumna, played the flute for the event, attendees of which filled Memorial Union’s Stotler Lounge and spilled into the hallway. Cathy Scroggs, vice chancellor for student affairs, opened: “No one is more precious to us than our students.”
Nicholas Droege, president of the Missouri Students Association, and Kristofferson Culmer, president of the Graduate Professional Council, read the names and shared loved ones’ memories of the deceased.
“The loss of life is inevitable. I lost my mother when I was a teenager,” Culmer said. “And even through all of the sadness that my family went through, the thing that comforted me was the hope and joy that one day I will see her again. And today, I hope that brings you comfort as well. Because the day will come when we see all of our loved ones again. And until that day, what matters most is that we remember the times we spent with them. Because that’s what made our relationships so strong and memorable.”
A moment of silence was observed, and Clyde Ruffin, chair of the MU Department of Theatre, read the poem “Life is a Fading Mist” by Jessie Adolph. A slideshow of photos shared glimpses of the lives of the students, and to conclude, the crowd sang “Old Missouri” together before adjourning.
In the students’ honor, the flags on campus flew at half-staff, books at Ellis Library have been dedicated and commemorated with plaques, the bell of Switzler Hall rang at 3 p.m., and the carillon of bells at Reynolds Alumni Center played our alma mater at the end of the day. The Memorial Union lights were darkened for the night.