Family, friends and members of the East Tennessee State University community recently gathered in remembrance of students, retirees and faculty and staff that have passed away within the last year.
“It is times like these that make me realize how truly special our community is,” said SGA President Keyana Miller. “We are all here to remember these individuals and their legacies together.”
“ETSU Remembers” is an annual memorial service that honors the legacies left behind by members of the ETSU community that have passed away. This year, the service was held in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium on Monday, April 2 at 4:30 p.m. The ceremony included a reading of the names of those being remembered, a string quartet, prayer and concluded with refreshments for attendees.
“This is a small moment out of the year, but it’s such a special moment,” said Miller. “It’s not often that we stop, in complete silence, to remember those who have left our lives.”
ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland began the ceremony with a few words about the legacies left behind by every member of the ETSU community. He expressed that the losses are felt by every member of the community, and his thoughts and prayers continue to be with the friends and families of the individuals.
“This is so important because even if an individual has been here for three days or fifty years, they have contributed their legacy to ETSU. We must pay homage to them for every little bit of their lives that they gave to us,” said Miller.
“Some of these individuals remained here until their last moment. We owe it to them.”
The Colors were presented by the ROTC Program, and prayer was led by Jonathan Chapman, Director of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. The names of retirees, faculty and staff being remembered were read by ETSU Faculty Senate President Dr. Susan Epps and ETSU Staff Senate President Stefanie Murphy. ETSU SGA President Keyana Miller delivered a heartfelt speech and read the remaining names of retirees and students. In total, 47 names were listed in remembrance.
“Seeing the names and hearing them read aloud at a memorial service feels surreal. Sometimes that moment of realization hits you that this is permanent,” said Miller.
“It’s not that they didn’t come to work or class today. It’s that they couldn’t. That really resonates with me.”
Information about the next service of “ETSU Remembers” will be distributed in the next calendar and academic year. For more information, call the Office of Student Affairs at 423-439-4210 or email@example.com.