LSU honored the 14 students who died during the 2017-18 school year at its second annual Remembrance Ceremony on Wednesday.
The students were named “Forever Tigers," which university officials say recognizes the students as members of the community even after their passing.
“When you lose a son or a daughter, I can’t even imagine what families have to go through,” LSU President F. King Alexander said.
After a name-reading and a moment of silence, families of the students shared memories of their loved ones.
Kirsten Finley, mother of Nathaniel “Kayne” Finley, attended the event. Finley, a freshman, died in November of a cancerous tumor in the brain stem that is connected to the spine.
"We are grateful to come together with each of you for this special ceremony honoring our children and sharing our angel Kayne’s story and his extraordinary life,” she said.
Angela Guillory, Greek Life Director, spoke on behalf of the family of Maxwell Gruver. Gruver died from hazing in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in September.
“Max’s family will never be the same. They miss him dearly every single day,” Guillory added with emotion.
The remembrance ceremony was put on by Student Advocacy and Accountability (SAA) organization. Dr. Sanders is the Associate Dean of SAA and said that the event is necessary.
“Some people need some closure sometimes when they’ve lost a loved one. It was a way to honor them and honor their legacy at LSU,” he said.
Due to the sensitivity of the event, there were counselors at the ceremony for families to speak to. Dr. Sanders say 14 deaths in a year isn’t unusual for a university LSU’s size, but he emphasized that the LSU community is strong and grows stronger in times of mourning.
The 14 students who passed away are: Benjamin Balser, Nathaniel “Kayne” Finley, Joan Fox, Nicholas Grace, Maxwell Gruver, Micah Johnson, Devon Tillman, Denis Klimenko, Johnathan Morgan, Lucas Moulder, Michael Nickelotte, Charles “Buddy” Smith, Octavia Taylor and Susan Thompson.