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New Mexico State University

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ASNMSU to honor fallen students

The Associated Students of New Mexico State University will honor all students who have passed while attending NMSU with a new memorial and groundbreaking ceremony at 7 p.m. May 1, east of the Corbett Outdoor Stage.

The design is simple with a circular plaza to provide a private gathering space that evokes a sense of tranquility. Two gravel paths lined with trees will intersect the plaza to offer a soft touch.

"It will evoke the feeling of gentle remembrance we strive for without directly tying into the sorrow that follows the loss of a life," said Lauren Hotevec, the designer of the memorial.

Austin Graham, ASNMSU president, said the memorial may look incomplete, but it is because it is. The student memorial is designed to signify those students who have passed without completing their degrees and to have the availability to grow with the student body for future generations.

Next fall, a bench will be available to allow for pictures and candle vigils or for private reflection any time of the year.

Neither the memorial nor the ceremony will be specific to race, gender, religion or names so to honor all students who have passed before completing their degrees.

Funding for the memorial was secured by the 48th ASNMSU Senate in 2005, and Graham said they decided to bring the project to fruition "in order to honor the legacy left behind by former students."

"I think this gives students the opportunity to have a place they can call their own," he said. "It will become a place where students can sit and reflect upon life at without being overwhelmed in the mix of everything."

Graham said the memorial site will also take some financial strain off of families who do not have the means for a large ceremony.

Tuesday's ground breaking ceremony will begin the tradition to have a memorial service on the Tuesday before final's week. Families of former students are invited to attend.

"The emotional value and potential for developed culture and tradition that the student memorial places upon us as Aggies will carry on for generations to come," Graham said.