Campuswide memorial: Solemn and artful ‘goodbye’ to those lost in past year

As a “somber pavan” by Ronald Barnes tolled out from the Sather Tower carillon, members of the greater campus community gathered on the lawn outside California Hall, at noon Thursday, for a ceremony honoring faculty and emeriti, students and staff who have died over the past year.


A bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace.” (Jean Smith photo)

In what is now an annual tradition, the 11th annual campuswide memorial featured, in three segments, readings of the names of those who have passed, numbering more than 80 in all. Elizabeth Deakin, Academic Senate vice chair, read the names of faculty and emeriti, ombudsperson Sara Thacker those of staff and staff retirees, and ASUC President Connor Landgraf those of students.

Musical interludes were woven through the ceremony, which was held near the flagpole: a koto number whose title translates as “Memories” performed by alumna and staff member Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, choral pieces offered by the members of the student group “Perfect Fifth.” So were poems, such as “Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo: “…We see you, see ourselves and know/That we must take the utmost care/And kindness in all things…” A choreographed piece entitled “Lullaby” incorporated dance and music.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau offered welcoming remarks and bagpiper Jeff Campbell closed the ceremony with “Amazing Grace,” as white doves wheeled overhead.

See Campus to commemorate those who died during 2011-12  for the names of those honored at the 2012 campuswide memorial. View an online video of Thursday’s memorial service.