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Honor Forward, Together Forward spirit Feb. 14

February 6, 2014

Bruce Niemi's "Remembered" sculpture in the Memorial GardenNorthern Illinois University will remember the lives of five students lost Feb. 14, 2008, with a moment of reflection and the tolling of five bells at 3:06 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.

The NIU Scholarship Office plans to announce the recipients of the Forward, Together Forward Scholarship that day as well.

The Forward, Together Forward Scholarship Endowment was created through the generosity of more than 1,770 donors to honor the memory and spirit of Gayle Dubowski, Catalina Garcia, Julianna Gehant, Ryanne Mace and Daniel Parmenter.

“NIU is committed to remembering and honoring the spirit of the cherished Huskies lost that day,” said NIU President Doug Baker, who is spending time with their families prior to the anniversary. “The bells serve as a reminder of the forward together forward spirit of our students and community as we reflect and honor those lost.”

“A moment of reflection is a way in which NIU can continue its tradition of marking an unforgettable moment in its history, remembering the resiliency of our community and, most importantly, honoring those we lost,” adds Kelly Wesener Michael, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students.  “I believe this is a natural transition for our campus and a demonstration of a community that continues to move forward.”

The university constructed a peaceful memorial garden adjacent to Cole Hall, consisting of a gently curving walk set in a grouping of trees, a red granite reflection wall bearing the students’ names and a sculpture centerpiece. Benches are placed opposite the Reflection Wall to encourage pausing and remembering.