The inaugural Day of Honor, sponsored by Staff Senate, was held Jan. 13 and commemorated the lives of forty Bison students, faculty and staff that passed away within recent years.
Following an a cappella piece by the NDSU Concert Choir, President Dean Bresciani welcomed attendees. He spoke of the “ebbs and flows” that make up the Bison family and its university community.
“We are here to honor today our part of the Bison family. (Day of Honor) is about celebrating and being part of that family and recognition that they will not soon be forgotten,” Bresciani said.
Former men’s basketball coach and associate athletic director Erv Inniger delivered the ceremony’s Message of Hope, attributing each individual as a piece of the Bison puzzle.
“These people gave everything they had to make this university a better place to live and a better place for all of us,” Inniger said.
Staff Senate President Kelly Bisek, Faculty Senate President Harlene Hatterman-Valenti and Student Body Vice President Erik Diederich took turns reading the names of all forty Bison who lost their lives. They lit candles for each individual, followed by the sound of a chime for each life lost.
Diederich said the turnout for the first annual event exceeded his expectations and that he hopes the event will continue to grow in the future.
He emphasized the actions the university has recently taken to honor those who have passed, including last semester’s tree planting ceremony in memory of six students recently lost.
“It’s very important for the atmosphere of NDSU. We always say ‘Once a Bison, always a Bison’ and at some point you need to make that your actual practice. It’s events like these that create that atmosphere,” Diederich said.