‘Night Of Remembrance’ Commemorates Students Lost This Year

Students gathered on the steps of Old Main on Sunday evening to honor the lives of the 15 students who passed away during the school year. The event, hosted by the University Park Undergraduate Association, recognized the lives of Lauren Bajorek, Joseph Clunshi, Damah Conteh, Jacob Correll, John ‘Connor’ Darcey, Christopher Dixon, Michael Eibe, Luca Franzini, Naomi Grix, Alexander Murk, Eli (Miriam) Roe, Vitalya ‘Tally’ Sepot, Nicholas Synder, Nicholas Stuck, and Michael Walsh.

Emily McDonald, president of UPUA’s 10th assembly, opened the evening with brief remarks about the role of these individuals in the Penn State community.

“Penn Staters help each other and support each other each and every single day, even when they do not know each other’s names or may never even see each other again,” McDonald said. “While many of us may not have had the privilege of knowing all 15 of the students that we have lost, each and every single one of them, directly or indirectly, have touched or impacted the lives of their fellow Penn Staters in some way, shape or form.”

Pennharmonics then took the stage to perform their rendition of “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz.

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The evening continued with a reading from UPUA Speaker Alex Shockley and a short speech from current UPUA president Terry Ford. Ford spoke on the impact that these students had and the legacy they will leave at Penn State.

“Although they may no longer be with us, they will live on through their friends and their loved ones,” Ford said.

After another song from Pennharmonics and a reading from UPUA Vice President Katie Jordan, friends and family were invited to share some of their favorite memories of those lost. Ford read the names of the 15 students as loved ones came forward to light their candles in solidarity.

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The night ended with the crowd linking arms to sing the alma mater in remembrance of the students lost this year.

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Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a junior majoring in print and digital journalism and one of Onward State's student life editors. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia." She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.

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