UC Berkeley honored the deaths of over 50 university-affiliated individuals — including faculty members, faculty emeriti, staff and students — in the annual campus memorial ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
The memorial, held at the flagpole west of California Hall on a sunny day, included opening remarks by UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and a reading of the names of those who have died. Honoring the lives and contributions of those who formed a part of the campus community, the ceremony brought mourners together to “share in a universal human experience,” according to a UC Berkeley press release.
“The annual Campus Memorial, which has been held for 19 years now, is an important and cherished campus ceremony,” said campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an email.
The ceremony began with a bagpipe performance of “Going Home.” Mourners left heartfelt notes and flowers to remember their loved ones, as shown in a Twitter post.
Over 200 people attended the event, according to Gilmore. Those who died in the last year included over 30 faculty emeriti, 28 staff members, 10 undergraduate students, eight faculty members and two graduate students, according to a press release.
“(The ceremony) allows us to come together as a campus community to honor the lives of faculty, students and staff who have passed away in the last year,” Gilmore said in the email.
Among those honored was accomplished journalist Edwin Dobb of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, or J-school, who died in August. Dobb taught environmental journalism and narrative writing at the J-school. He also wrote for a variety of publications such as Reader’s Digest, Vogue, Discover, the New York Times and National Geographic, according to a J-school press release.
Another individual remembered was staff member Toni Whittle-Ciprazo, who had worked on campus since 1987, according to a press release from the department of gender and women’s studies. Whittle-Ciprazo, who died in March, received an award for excellence in management twice, honoring her for her leadership. She was an active leader of the Berkeley Staff Assembly’s mentorship program, which pairs experienced campus staff members with staff who are looking to develop themselves professionally, according to the organization’s website.
Jessica Christie, a 23-year-old undergraduate who died in November 2018 in a motorcycle accident, was also honored at the memorial. She is remembered by her family as a strong-willed individual who “lived fast and worked hard,” according to her older brother.