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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Remembrance ceremony for NMSU students, Virginia Tech victims

New Mexico State University remembered students who lost their lives in the past academic year during its annual remembrance ceremony Wednesday afternoon. Also honored were students lost in the Virginia Tech shooting.

From Left: Professor Cynthia Bejarano, Phyllis Gurule, Edwin Gurule and Loyda Gurule pause to remember former NMSU student Sammy Gurule during a memorial service held in honor of NMSU students who lost their lives during the 2006-2007 academic year. (Photo by Ben La Marca)

NMSU President Michael Martin, Carmen Gonzales, vice president for student success, and Rabbi Gerald Kane of the Interfaith Council addressed students, faculty, staff and the families of the NMSU students remembered.

Associated Students of NMSU President Ben Hardy called the names of Aggie students Carlos Almengor, Sammy Gurule and Shana Leaupepe, who died in the last academic year. Student Regent Ed Kellum lit a candle for each as a chime sounded.

"It's very nice and comforting to know the university is remembering these students," said Trey LaFleur, a sophomore government student, who attended the ceremony.

"It's also a great sentiment to remember the Virginia Tech students as well. The shooting happened far away, but it affected students here," he said.

Rabbi Kane quoted a Chinese proverb, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." During the remembrance he said it was important for the university community to let the families know they are not alone and have someone they can turn to for comfort.

The ceremony was originally scheduled to be held in Milton Hall, but was moved to the larger venue of Corbett Center because of the number of people expected to attend.

Since the Virginia Tech shooting, NMSU has marked the tragedy and remembered those who lost their lives during a number of events. Across campus, posters and scrolls were set out for the campus community to post messages and condolences for victims of the tragedy. NMSU will send a banner to Virginia Tech in show of support.

Earlier this week, the NMSU Counseling Center hosted a discussion on students in distress. All faculty and staff were invited to bring questions and concerns for discussion.

Last week, up to 300 students, faculty and staff at New Mexico State University gathered at the Horseshoe as the bells from Goddard Hall rang in remembrance of the victims of shooting.

For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (505) 646-1722.