University remembers Blugolds

A Day of Remembrance was held in celebration for the lives lost this year

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

Photo by Kar Wei Cheng

The lives of those who had passed were celebrated through musical performances and a series of speakers.

UW-Eau Claire’s Day of Remembrance was held on Monday, in the Dakota Ballroom of the Davies Student Center. Friends, family, colleagues and classmates gathered to celebrate the lives of the students and faculty who passed away in this past year.

A performance from the Cohen String Quartet opened Monday’s event, followed by a brief welcome from Vice Chancellor Beth Hellwig.

“We hope today will be about finding comfort,” Hellwig said, as she set the tone for the event’s proceedings, ending her speech with a reading from a poem.

Chancellor James C. Schmidt also spoke at the Remembrance event, urging all of those present to remember and hold on-to happy memories.

“They passed away far too soon,” Schmidt said. “While today may be about sad recollections, I am hopeful that this day will bring a smile to your face.”

The next guest speaker was Katy McGarry, former student body president. Similar to Schmidt and Hellwig’s speeches, McGarry stressed the importance of community and togetherness in trying times.

“It is important for us to come together as a university community,” McGarry said. “The Blugold spirit will forever be remembered by those who have called this place home.”

Joe Abhold, Eau Claire’s dean of students, likened this year’s losses to that of a coming spring.

“As a community, we gather in times of celebration, as well as times of sadness and loss,” Abhold said. “Spring, like life, is short, and cannot last forever.”

Abhold concluded his speech with a reading of Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” Like the spring, Abhold said, those who were mourned on Monday, too, were unable to stay.

The Day of Remembrance ceremony wrapped up with a the tolling of a chime for every staff member and student lost this year. Following a performance from the UW-Eau Claire Women’s Chorus, Hellwig closed the event with ending remarks.