Remembering Those Lost

Lara Brucker/Staff

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Campus Wide Memorial

On September 27th, friends and family gathered to memorialize those who passed away this last year.

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On the west side of California Hall with the flag drawn at half mast, more than 70 people gathered in solemnity at noon Monday to remember those from the campus community who had died in the previous year.

Leaders from the UC Berkeley administration, including Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, and student leaders such as ASUC President Noah Stern attended the ninth annual memorial service that honored the members of the campus community - faculty, staff, students, emeriti and retirees - who had died.

"In coming together to remember and to honor the lives of the deceased, we reach out to our many colleagues and friends who have suffered loss, and we share in a universal human experience that touches us all," Birgeneau said in an e-mail to the campus community announcing the service.

Birgeneau opened the ceremony - which included songs and poems - by delivering a speech and holding a moment of silence for the deceased. The list of those who had died, which contained six undergraduate students, ranged from Cal women's crew star Jill Costello to UC Berkeley statistics professor David Blackwell, the first tenured black professor on campus.

According to Birgeneau, the annual service program began after the Sept. 11 attacks as a way to bring the community together.

Birgeneau said in an interview after the memorial that it was both "moving and upsetting" to talk to the parents of students, of which there were 11, who had died.

"These are tremendously talented people and we're not going to have the benefit of the great contributions they would have made if they had not passed away so prematurely," he said.

-Mihir Zaveri

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