Michigan State University honors shooting victims during graduation ceremonies

Published: May. 5, 2023 at 7:18 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - For the Spartan community, Thursday marked the start of a new journey. As many celebrated with friends and family, they’re also remembering the ones who won’t get the chance to have this experience.

Related: MSU graduates ready to face future challenges after overcoming difficult year

“On this joyful occasion, let us also briefly acknowledge our pain. Those lost in the violence of February 13 will be recognized with posthumous degrees at their college graduation ceremony,” said Dr. Teresa Woodruff, Michigan State University president.

It was a journey cut short for three Spartans who lost their lives in the mass shooting. Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alex Verner.

“So let us pause here for another moment of silence to remember them, and those working to recover from their injuries, and all their families, and to acknowledge all those who have been impacted,” said Woodruff.

MSU held a moment of silence for the victims during their spring convocation. On Saturday, they’ll be honored with posthumous degrees during their departmental ceremony.

“I think that’s a tremendous honor for those students. Whose futures have been taken from us from them from their families. They are part of the MSU community,” said Mike Mickunas, College of Business Faculty.

“I’m really glad they’re doing that for them and for their families obviously we all wish it could be different,” said Ryan Rupp, who graduated with his master’s degree in business.

As the Spartan community tries to move forward, one student shared some encouragement.

“Don’t just lock yourself up in your room because you think that there’s going to be a next week or next semester or next year do it now enjoy the now,” said Sydney Sharafi.

The three victims will be honored in their individual ceremonies Saturday. Both Arielle Anderson and Alex Verner will be honored in the College of Natural Science starting at 12:30 p.m. and sophomore Brian Fraser will be honored in the College of Business ceremony at 4 p.m.

“Those scholars and leaders are forever a part of our Spartan family,” said Woodruff.

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