Northern Illinois University will hold a series of events, beginning Friday, Feb. 9, to mark the passage of 10 years and honor the lives of five students lost on Feb. 14, 2008.
NIU Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Kelly Wesener-Michael, who led a campus-wide committee to plan the commemoration, said that great care was taken in creating the events. “We wanted to provide opportunities for all to remember those we lost, and to reflect on how we have moved forward since that day.”
The events are designed to provide individuals a variety of opportunities to participate and reflect. All of these events are free and open to the public.
- Community Appreciation Reception, 4:30 p.m., Friday Feb. 9, Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center
University faculty and staff, community members, first responders, public safety staff, and medical personnel who actively contributed to the response and healing of the community 10 years ago are invited to gather for refreshments and fellowship.
- Candlelight Vigil, 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, Duke Ellington Ballroom, Holmes Student Center
All are invited to light candles and reflect on the healing and strength of the community since Feb. 14, 2008. The event will include brief remarks by NIU campus leaders. Candles will be provided.
- Reflection Walk, 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, NIU Recreation Center
A 2.14-mile walk that will allow individuals and groups to walk through a course in the NIU Recreation Center with opportunities for reflection along the route.
- First Responders Recognition, Saturday, Feb. 10, NIU Convocation Center
First responders who came to the aid of the university in 2008 will be honored during the men’s/women’s basketball double header. At the women’s game against Bowling Green (tip off at 1 p.m.) first responders will participate in a pre-game flag presentation and a halftime ceremony. At the men’s game against Buffalo (tip off at 3:30 p.m.) first responders will participate in a pre-game honor guard ceremony and are invited to attend a half time reception.
- Forward, Together: A Concert in Tribute, 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, Boutell Concert Hall, NIU Music Building
This School of Music concert will embody the themes of resilience and healing.
- Laying of Memorial Wreaths, 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14, outside of Cole Hall
The public is invited to gather as wreaths are placed on the memorial stones at the Peaceful Reflection Garden and to observe a moment of reflection. Bells will be tolled at 3:06 p.m.
The Pick Museum of Anthropology will also host a special exhibit, Forward, Together Forward: Remembering, in the Gallery Lounge of the Holmes Student Center. The installation will include items from the NIU Archives that show the campus, community and national response to the tragedy, as well as examining how the campus has rebuilt and recovered since that day. The exhibit will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 5-8 and Feb 11-14, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 9 and 10.
A complete schedule of public events can be found online.
For more information about Remembrance Events at NIU, please go to go.niu.edu/forward, or call 815-753-1573.