More than 100 students and community members gathered Sunday evening for a candlelight vigil on Upper Sproul Plaza to remember Selam Sekuar, a UC Berkeley student.
Sekuar was an international student from Ethiopia and MasterCard Foundation scholar who planned to major in architecture or public health. Students and friends shared their favorite memories of Sekuar, describing her intellect, laughter and generosity.
The Horn of Africa Student Association, to which Sekuar belonged and which organized the event, accepted donations toward costs and accommodations for Sekuar’s family in Ethiopia, according to the association’s president, Samya Abdela.
Throughout the day, multiple organizations that Sekuar was a part of held events to honor her. Members of Women in Science and Engineering held a community healing and wrote letters, and members of Berkeley’s Ethiopian community attended a church service Sunday.
“This love you have shown should not end here,” said Patrick Zamba, a UC Berkeley freshman and MasterCard Foundation scholar, at the vigil. “Let us do what Selam did. Let us help one another.”
Speakers encouraged students to take time each day to support each other emotionally.
“All of those who know her, remember this moment, and don’t be afraid to laugh and to smile,” said Estefany Rodriguez, a UC Berkeley freshman who was Sekuar’s roommate during the Summer Bridge program.
A box will be available at the Multicultural Community Center during its open hours next week for those who wish to write letters or make donations to Sekuar’s family.