The campus memorial service last Monday gave the college community a chance to remember the students, faculty and friends that it has lost in the past year.
“[The memorial service] reminds us of our common humanity. It reminds us that we will all one day pass, and again, it gives us a chance to support one another and love one another,” said Cylon George, campus chaplain. “Sometimes in an institution, the word ‘love’ doesn’t enter into our daily conversations, but I think in times like this, we realize there is love.”
Family, friends and coworkers gathered in the BTC Auditorium for the service. Each deceased acquaintance of the college had a representative. A white rose was given to each of these representatives, and as the names of the deceased were called, their representative went to the front to place the rose in a vase.
Prayers were read from Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Native American traditions. According to George, this is to honor people of all faiths in their times of grief.
“When people mourn, they usually turn to whatever faith or spiritual traditions that they have to comfort them. Some people have none, but others do, and so it’s just a way of recognizing that this is a diverse family. You can participate in whatever way you wish in this mourning,” he said.
George led the service, and different college administrators participated by reading passages or eulogies. Two songs were performed by vocalists as well.
The floor was then opened for any service attendees to share memories about those who passed.
“I’m always struck each year when I come up to this event at how many names of people I’ve worked with over the last 30 plus years are on this list and how difficult it is to come and to mourn them,” said Lucille Marion, executive director of the Educational Opportunity Center. “But I think that this is a wonderful event, and I thank the college for having it for us annually.”
There were refreshments for the attendees served after the ceremony.
George said, “I think [the memorial service] demonstrates that this college is a family. When we lose members of our family, we take time out to remember them, and so I think that’s why this is important and special.”
LIST OF THOSE HONORED AT THE SERVICE: (Matt, I don’t know if you want to print these… Totally up to you. I just thought I’d include them just in case.)
Michael R. Dormin
Jerry J. Faine
Maria Christina LaBate
Heather E. Ladanye
Robert E. Prior
Zachary R. Unser
Faculty anwd Staff:
George R. Baker
Gregory W. Crawford
Michael S. D’Agostino
Virginia Jonas Dersch
George J. Genevive Jr.
Alexander R. Grone
John Nicholas Pignatelli
John S. Rebel
William A. Schieffelin
Marco J. Silvestri
Stephen Veselka Sr.
Kenneth B. Williams Jr.