Members of the Penn State community gathered at the steps of Old Main Thursday for this year’s Night of Remembrance to honor the Penn State students who have passed away in the last year. The service began with a solemn trumpet duet of Amazing Grace followed by reading by outgoing UPUA President Terry Ford.
Ford read “Remember Me” by Margaret Mead. “To the living, I am gone. To the sorrowful, I will never return. To the angry, I was cheated. But to the happy, I am at peace, and to the faithful, I have never left. I cannot be seen, but I can be heard. So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea — remember me. As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty — remember me. As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity — remember me. Remember me in your heart, your thoughts, your memories of the times we loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed. For if you always think of me, I will never be gone.”
Current UPUA President Katie Jordan then said a few words. She highlighted how, no matter how short or long your time is here at Penn State, an impact is made on you. “Regardless of the time that you’ve spent here, the work you’ve done, it doesn’t matter because everyone adds to the overall good of Penn State, the place that we have learned to love,” Jordan said. “But losing a Penn Stater is a deeper loss than most experience.” She went on to say that moving on is the hardest part as the ones we’ve lost will no longer walk the streets of College Avenue or on campus.
Jordan touched on her personal loss of a friend in her first weeks of being a Penn Stater. Struggling with the weight of the loss, Jordan reached out to her family and was given a piece of advice. “Live every day embracing all Penn State has to offer for you are lucky to be here and they are proud that you are there too.” Jordan asked everyone to honor the lives of the Penn Stater that we have lost and make them proud.
A capella group ‘The Pennharmonics’ then sang “Don’t Worry About Me” followed by a reading from UPUA Speaker Brent Rice. “We gather to remember the little things that made a special place in our heart. To remember those happy times when we laughed and those times when our hearts broke as one. For who could put a price on memories? We gather to share the pain To hurt when you hurt without presuming that our pain is the same. To cry when you cry and not try to hide or avoid our tears. For who can ever take away the pain? We gather to give the gift of grief To stand beside you in silence and not be uncomfortable with your tears. To allow you the gift of mourning this loss and not lose patience For grief is the way of healing a broken heart.”
Rice then asked members of the community or students to come up to the microphone for open testimonials, but no one spoke. The names of all of the 27 students who were lost across the commonwealth were then read aloud. For every name read, a current student lit a candle in their memory.
As rain began to fall, The Pennharmonics then concluded the night by singing “Spirit Cold” and by leading everyone in singing the alma mater.
To the ones that we’ve lost
Starrett Metzler, Karina Nunez-Fabian, Shannon Mathers, Rahman Hassan, Madison Hill, Jedidiah Seckinger, Christina Anthony, Scott Loper, Matthew Kayser, George Samag, Garren Stamp, Byron Markle, Nicolai Tereschak, Hayley McMillen, Matthew Wolfgang, Stephanie Inman, Benjamin Harner, Robert Lane, Sarah Barbale, Andrew Edwards, Jasper Hicks, Lucas Shook, Luke Still, Samuel Kepler, Stephanie Matteo, Timothy Piazza, and Cody Mullen — you all will surely be missed.