On April 6 at 4 p.m., a memorial service was held to remember the students of North Dakota State that passed away this year.
Ellie Helm, an undergraduate student in psychology from Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, Noah Rockenback, an undergraduate student in computer science from Center City, Minnesota, and Danika Murphy, an undergraduate student in psychology from West Fargo, North Dakota, were honored in the service.
The service was attended by student government and the families and friends of the students to whom the memorial was held for.
Katie Mastel, student body vice president, explained the physical memorial that would be created for the students.
As a reminder of their memories and their time at NDSU, three plaques have been created, and by next year the plaques will be hung on a permanent memorial wall located on the west side of campus. Near the wall will also be a tree and benches for students to reflect and remember those who have passed away.
Kendall Nygard, the department chair of the computer science program and a professor of Noah Rockenback, presented the mother and father of Noah with a posthumous degree.
A posthumous degree is given when a person dies within two semesters of their graduation date. Noah had only one semester left before graduation.
Nygard spoke of Noah being a member of the Association for Computing Machinery at NDSU, a member of ROTC and a good student that did more than coming to class. Nygard said that they had spoken one-on-one several times.
He also said that Noah was a part of the robotics team and that his peers, who were at the robotics competition, would have liked to be there for the service.
After being presented with Noah’s posthumous degree, Michelle Rockenback and John Rockenback said a few words about their son, including 10 things they wanted the world to remember about him.
In closing, President Dean Bresciani took the stand, next to the three plaques, and offered his condolences.
“It’s not just a saying. Once a Bison, always a Bison,” Bresciani said. “We don’t want to forget; we want to remember these students because they will always be part of this university.”