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Raven's Call To Honor Fallen Bearkats

April 6, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Meredith Mohr

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Raven Call logoIn remembrance of students, faculty and alumni, the Orange Keys service organization will dedicate a new monument in front of the Bell Tower that honors the lives of fallen Bearkats for the inaugural Raven’s Call memorial service.

The ceremony will take place on April 20, at 11 a.m. at the Bell Tower in Bearkat Plaza. There will be three bell tolls, representing students, faculty/staff, and alumni, and President Dana Gibson will speak to the families of those lost. In addition, the Sam Houston State University chorale will sing the Alma Mater and several other organizations on campus will be present.

The idea for the ceremony came from a parent whose child, a former SHSU student, died. Knowing this would be a great tradition to start for the university, the Office of the Dean of Students researched and planned for the first Raven’s Call.

This year, six students and 29 faculty and staff members who have died over the last two years will be remembered. In addition, the Orange Keys will sell balloons with messages inside as a fundraiser. These balloons will be released at the end of the ceremony.

"This promises to be the beginning of a very special tradition for us at Sam," said John Yarabeck, dean of students. "Raven's Call will offer the opportunity for all of the university’s constituents to come together in unity to recognize the contributions of those Bearkats who are no longer with us and celebrate the ways each of them touched our lives."

Austin Pearce, Orange Keys ambassador, said that he is glad that SHSU is creating this tradition to break the mold of traditional memorial services.

“Memorial services can often be somewhat depressing, so it is integral for the university to begin a program that honors the lives of fallen Bearkats with a celebration of their service to the university and to their loved ones,” Pearce said.

“It is an honor to be a part of creating such a tradition here at Sam Houston,” Pearce said. “I think it says a lot for Sam, as the Bearkat community can gather to recognize fallen Bearkats.

Chelsea Smith, parent relations coordinator for the Dean of Students’ Office and sponsor for the Orange Keys, emphasized the meaning behind Raven’s Call.

“I think it’s amazing,” Smith said. “I have gotten to work with the Orange Keys from the very beginning, planning this from the ground up, and each step reflects the community at Sam Houston. The people we are honoring have taught our students and attended classes with them. People come into our lives for a reason. This ceremony is a way to remember that.”

There will also be an art exhibit in the Lowman Student Center Gallery where visitors can write notes and share memories of those honored at the ceremony. It will be displayed April 16-20.

For more information, contact Smith at 936.294.1785 or at cxs027@shsu.edu.



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