MU Remembers commemorates nine students who have died since last April

The Memorial Student Union tower was darkened on Friday and relit the following day as part of an annual tradition to symbolize a new day.
MU honors nine students who have died in the past year at the MU Remembers ceremony.

The university hosted MU Remembers, an annual event held to commemorate students who have died since last April, on Friday at 2 p.m. in Stotler Lounge.

The ceremony included remembrance statements from Missouri Students Association President Nathan Willett for undergraduate students and Graduate Professional Council President Alex Howe for graduate students.

Willett spoke on behalf of John “Max” Critchfield, Nicholas Foster, Logan Gilbert, Andrés Velasco Dávila, Richard Ward and Ryan Wilt.

“Mizzou is a family,” Willett said at the event. “On behalf of the undergraduate student body, I extend my sincere condolences.”

Howe spoke for Naira Kuzmich, Carolin Scherf and Ryan Stoll.

“The academic community will keenly feel the absence of each students’ contributions,” Howe said during the event. “And yet, the university’s loss cannot begin to touch the sorrow felt by these student’s friends and families.”

In addition, there was a reading from Clyde Ruffin, professor emeritus of theater and representative of Ward 1 on the Columbia City Council. Ruffin read a poem titled “We are Seeds, We are Eternal” by Jessie Adolph.

“We are light illuminated in the banks of your memory,” Ruffin read.

Graduate student Nicholas Faller performed a musical tribute of the song “Sonata K 2018” on guitar.

Gary Ward, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, said Ellis Library has created books in tribute to the students who have died. These books are available at the records desk and were on display on Friday in the library.

“Our hearts are comforted, and we are strengthened as we come together to remember these students,” Ward said.

The Memorial Student Union tower was darkened Friday night in memoriam these students, Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said. It was relit the following morning as a symbol for a new day on campus.

“Tomorrow, the sun will shine on the quad and the tower will be lit once again,” Cartwright said during Friday’s event. “But all of us here will not be the same. We will forever be grateful that our lives have been enriched by those MU remembers.”

MU Remembers has been an event for about 20 years and the darkening of Memorial Union has become an annual tradition, Dean of Students Jeff Zeilenga said. He also said the flags outside the Student Center are lowered every year, usually by the MSA and GPC presidents.

MU reaches out to families of students who have died in the last 12 months to ask if they’d like the student to be included in the event, Zeilenga said.

“It’s very important to recognize and celebrate the contributions of students and graduate students who are no longer with us,” Zeilenga said. “This also brings a sense of closure to friends and families.”

Edited by Skyler Rossi |

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