IUPUI is commonly seen as just a branch of Indiana University or Purdue University, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing unique about our campus. An example of that is how we honor and remember the members of the IUPUI family who have passed before us. On May 1, the Campus Center hosted the Day of Remembrance to honor the recently passed members of the IUPUI family.
The event started with a welcome by Jason Spratt, the Dean of Students. He proceeded to read the names off, and then invited anyone who wanted to come forward and speak about their friend or family member to do so. Multiple people gave their testimonies about their loved ones, and how they were finding the strength to move on.
“The Day of Remembrance came out of a thought to be able to have one day to recognize those who have passed in the last six months,” Spratt said. “We started this in 2003 on an every semester basis, and I don’t know of any other campus that does anything quite like this.”
After everyone had the opportunity to come up and speak, the ceremony called for a moment of silence to reflect. A table adorned pictures and memories of those who had passed, and many got to have fellowship and counsel afterwards.
Representatives from JagsCARE, a trained team of mental health professionals, were also in attendance to provide counseling for those who needed it. One of the representatives, Kory La’Trece Carey, is also a staff member for the IUPUI organization CAPS, which is an on-campus organization that provides mental health services for IUPUI students.
“CAPS is not an organizer of Day of Remembrance, but we provide support in response to campus-wide crises or incidents,” Carey said. “Because our counselors interact with and provide campus support to those impacted by tragedy or crises in their personal lives, it is important for us to have some connection with the Day of Remembrance ceremony.”
The Day of Remembrance is a special event for IUPUI in so many ways. Spratt talked about the process of preparing for this event, and how important it is that we never forget how important each member of the university is. The event is also open for past students or employees of IUPUI.
“I think it’s a neat tradition that Student Affairs here at IUPUI decide to do something to honor those who have passed. We don’t limit it to just students; faculty, staff, and anyone else who has had a connection to IUPUI is welcomed,” Spratt said. “The fact that we honor anyone from aged 17 all the way to 96 shows the impact IUPUI has had on folks. To see that IUPUI exists for more than just the traditional aged 18-24 student is really special.”
The Day of Remembrance isn’t supposed to be just a day-long time of reflection either. It encourages students and others to keep growing together on and off our campus. Events like these are important to not only bring the university together in grief, but in joy as well. Even as students continue to grow, graduate, and go, the home base in IUPUI means they are never forgotten.