Memorial held to honor students

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Sammy Hanf

Speaking in front of a crowd of more than 100 in the BB Dougherty Administration building, Dean of Students J.J. Brown led a ceremony dedicated to remembering those that passed away during their time at Appalachian State University.

In his opening address, Brown commended the group for their dedication to helping others in dealing with tragedy.

“The way you support others in this journey has been incredible,” Brown said.

Also speaking at the event were former Deans of Students Barbara Daye and and Susie Greene. Both expressed their condolences and affirmed Appalachian’s commitment to the memory of those lost.

Names of the deceased were read during the ceremony with flowers offered to their loved ones in attendance. Memorials submitted by families and friends were also read alongside the names.

Jodie Smith was one of the parents attending the memorial.

“It’s very special that they take the time to just remember,” Smith said.

After the event the faculty stayed to speak personally with the bereaved and attendees were encouraged to seek out others who may be able to offer perspective on the losses experienced by students’ families.

“Losing a child isn’t a feeling that is easy to empathize with,” Patrick Sullivan, a student helper at the event said. “The memorial creates a safe space where parents are able to empathize and relate to each other.”

Daye said the memorial offers an open atmosphere that helps the grieving process.

“You don’t have to be afraid to say anything here,” Daye said.

Brown said that when he reads the names, he thinks about how all of them were students and that they will always be Mountaineers.

Brown said the memorial is open for visitors at anytime during the year if they need a safe space to reflect.

“It’s such a beautiful gift to think about how they will always be a part of this community,” Brown said.

Story by Sammy Hanf, Intern News Reporter