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UC Berkeley memorial service held Wednesday

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2015

For myriad members of the UC Berkeley community, a campuswide memorial service Wednesday served as a somber and dignified remembrance of more than 60 campus faculty, staff, emeriti and undergraduate students who died in 2014.

Dozens of students, staff, faculty and others honoring the deceased gathered on the lawn in front of California Hall for the annual memorial service, a tradition since 2002. Students walking through campus stopped and stood silently as the mournful notes of a lone bagpipe echoed across campus, initiating the ceremony.

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, standing at a lectern flanked by two floral wreaths of blue and gold, welcomed those gathered with a speech expressing deep sympathy for the friends and families of those who died in the past year. Among those remembered were 10 undergraduate students.

“Their brief time here at Berkeley has left an indelible mark on all those who knew and were inspired by them,” Dirks said. “Some of their families are here with us today, proud that their children were students at the University of California, Berkeley, and we share in their terrible loss.”

Members of multiple campus groups — including the department of music, the Graduate Assembly, the Academic Senate, the Staff Ombuds Office, the ASUC and UCPD — participated in the ceremony.

UC Berkeley sophomore Micheal Omeka, originally from Nigeria, met Selam Sekuar — a student honored at the ceremony — after they both received a MasterCard Foundation scholarship, a program for students from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Omeka said of Sekuar, who hailed from Ethiopia, that “she always had something positive to say to make your day better.”

Aman Upadhyay, a campus junior, was at the service to honor Apoorve Agarwal, a friend whom he had gone to school with since the second grade.

“I thought the memorial was very well done and respectful,” Upadhyay said. “I only wish it was advertised better. I think if more of his friends had known about it, they also would have came. He was one of the greatest guys at this university.”

Eva Uribe, graduate student in the campus’s department of chemistry, came to commemorate her former adviser Stanley Prussin. She felt that the performances and reading of the names by different campus community members lent an even greater sense of “community” to the ceremony.

“(Prussin) was a wonderful mentor,” Uribe said. “He mentored his students right up to the week he died. He was very courageous in his fight against cancer.”

Tyrone Bennett, who works in the campus’s information services and technology department, appreciated that he was able to attend a memorial for four of his colleagues, as he wasn’t able to attend any private or family services.

“No part of our community remains untouched by these losses,” Dirks said. “The list of names bespeaks the stars that radiate around this amazing university.”

As community members left the ceremony, they took from a vase single purple lilies and laid them at the foot of the memorial stand, remembering and honoring the lives that were lost.

Below is a complete list of those remembered at the ceremony.

Academic and faculty

Stanley Prussin, nuclear engineering
Earl Walls, education
Barbara Weiss, social welfare
David Wessel, music
Barbara White, education


James Anderson, anthropology
Robert Cooper, public health
Alan Curtis, husic
William Garrison, civil and environmental engineering
Martin Graham, electrical engineering and computer sciences
Norton Grubb, education
Tulio Halperin-Donghi, history
Ernest Kuh, electrical engineering and computer sciences
David Littlejohn, Graduate School of Journalism
William Muir, political science
Donald Olsen, architecture
Evert Schlinger, environmental science, policy and management
James Spaulding, journalism
David Stoddart, geography
Herbert Strauss, chemistry
Ian Sussex, plant and microbial biology
Stephen Tollefson, College of Letters and Science
Charles Townes, physics
Lloyd Ulman, economics
Ray Wolfinger, political science
Victor Zackay, materials science and engineering


Shirley Anderson
Adora Castaneda, University Library
LaVonne Clarine, Undergraduate Division
Evaughn Collier, information services and technology
Judy Decarbonel, law
Harold Frey, intercollegiate athletics
Walt Hagmaier, information services and technology
Theartis Herbert, information services and technology
Ronald Kos, human resources
Donald Koué, public affairs
Michael Brian Lake, optometry
Andrew Lee, International Office
Kurt Lauridsen, Student Learning Center
Barbara Morgan, information services and technology
Laura Mulley, College of Letters and Science
Roberta Myers, public health
Jeffrey Nealy, public affairs, University Relations
Gilbert Nicholas, Residential and Student Service Programs
Frank Orme, physiology
Avelardo Perez, University Health Services
Leo Pivonka, Haas School of Business
Lili Quick, student affairs/Lawrence Hall of Science
Elizabeth Ruchenski, integrative biology
Gordon Smith, UCPD
Danai Suthivarakom, Career Center
Chilion Sylvan, Graduate Division
Joyce Tucker, International House
John Ziehe, UCPD

Undergraduate Students

Apoorve Agarwal, Letters & Sciences
Zachary Bradley, Natural Resources
Paul Hanson, Letters & Sciences
Michael McWaid, Letters & Sciences
Barry Moores, Haas School of Business
Selam Sekuar, Letters & Sciences
George Tak-Shing Shum, Letters & Sciences
Eloi Ivan Vasquez-Margolin, Letters & Sciences
Bryson Young, Letters & Sciences
Frank Yang Zheng, Letters & Sciences

Contact Elaina Provencio at [email protected].

SEPTEMBER 23, 2015

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