Raven's Call: Recognizing And Remembering
April 5, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Written by: Jamol Simon
Sam Houston State University is preparing for the 7th annual Raven’s Call memorial service. The Orange Keys, the official university student ambassadors will host the event on April 12 at 12 p.m. in front of the Blatchley Bell Tower. The service remembers and celebrates the lives of students, faculty, staff and alumni who have passed away within the last year.
Orange Key, Destiny Caldwell sees it as an honor to participate in such a special event.
“The Orange Keys are tasked with overseeing and facilitating Raven’s Call,” Caldwell said. “It feels great being a part of something that is so intentional and sincere.”
Raven’s Call has become one of the university’s most meaningful traditions due to the way it unites the campus for one common purpose. Senior Associate Dean of Students Chelsea Smith feels that the service can be healing for many.
“Raven’s Call is special because it allows the community to come together and celebrate the lives of those we lost,” Smith said. “It helps to heal, honor, and remember those who meant so much to so many people.”
Through sorrow and grief, Bearkats have found a way to transform their pain into a promising practice.
“This service has become a tradition at the university and I am very glad that people come to out each year to pay their respects,” Smith said.
While previously the ceremony included a balloon release, over time flowers replaced balloons. As a part of the tradition today, flowers displayed in the Raven’s Call monument have special meaning. Dean of Students John Yarabeck believes the change from the original means of celebration is more appropriate.
“We’ve evolved into the monument that the Orange Keys designed and when a name is read they will come and place a white or orange carnation inside of it,” Yarabeck said. “That seems to be more meaningful because families are able to come up and take a picture with the decorated monument. In a way, it’s cathartic for the families.”
Raven’s Call is hosted every year to not only recognize the loss, but also serves as a reminder that there is no time like the present.
“This is intended to send a message to our current faculty, staff and students that 100 years from now, it’s not likely that any of us will be here,” Yarabeck said. “We need to cherish our time and make the most of the time that we have here.”
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