Illuminating Hope

Students, staff and faculty came together on September 30 to support each other and acknowledge the toll COVID-19 has taken on the community and the world. Because the pandemic has touched the lives of all – whether they have lost loved ones, been ill themselves, or suffered from the stress and isolation of living through this time – the campus community created a luminaria display of words of remembrance, healing and hope in an effort to support one another.

The ceremony was held at the Amphitheater and included singing and spoken words of encouragement, as lights flickered in bags that created a wall of remembrance. Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Dawn Soufleris spoke of COVID-19’s disruption to everyone’s lives and the losses experienced – loved ones, cherished friends, coworkers – as well as other losses: “a job, the closure of a favorite restaurant, the ability to do something we love to do.”

The University community continues to work together and is looking toward a brighter future, she said. “While we are not fully done with this pandemic, little by little we move closer to gaining back our lives, our community, our ability to be together and our opportunity to cherish what we have.”