In Memoriam

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vig1The vigil at 5:30 for Minghui Yu attracted hundreds to Low Plaza today.  Students from the Office of the University Chaplain handed
Vigil night people candles and hot cider as they heard eulogies for the promising statistics grad student.  PrezBo and Dean Pinkham admitted that they did not know Yu or his family personally, but offered condolences to all those whose lives he touched, while the Chair of the Statistics Department called Yu “an academic star.”  The Chair of the Graduate Student Advisory Council offered an Emily Dickinson poem and noted that graduate students lead “focused, detached and solitary lives” and could perhaps “be encouraged to draw closer to each other in our community.”

Funds are being raised by Columbia University Chinese Students and Scholars Association to support Yu’s family and help them get visas to come to the US for the memorial services.  Chaplain Davis closed with a prayer and consolation for Yu’s family and girlfriend as the crowd observed a moment of silence. 

-JJV and AMP



  1. ...  

    I'm glad that a lot of people went.

  2. cupcake  

    me too. and people tied yellow ribbon around the trees :)

  3. 1010101010101  

    I was somewhat irked by Chaplain Davis' use of the words "God" and "Amen." I understand that she can only speak a certain religious language, but it felt really awkward and I'm sure she could've been a bit more sensitive. I mean, we didn't need a charismatic, MLK-type speech.

  4. this looks  

    to have been beautiful. I'm so sorry that it had to have been held, though. Rest in Peace.

  5. touched  

    i have no idea who this kid is, but i went. so glad i did.

  6. cider  

    did anyone else find the cider to be a bit inappropriate? i mean really, this was a memorial to a fellow student, not the tree-lighting ceremony...

  7. ---  

    how do we send donations to the family?

  8. 2222222222222  

    If you want to make a donation, contact the Chinese scholars association (I forget the full name).

    It's sad that this will probably be the parents' first trip to America, to see the university where their son came for his studies.

  9. yeah  

    how do you contact the chinese students and scholars assocation to donate? When and where are they collecting money?

  10. random thoughts  

    I believe the cider was intended to warm people up from the cold and is therefore not inappropriate. It simply means they were trying to make people comfortable. (Some of the other comments were a bit generic, but I'm not sure they knew what to say given the circumstances.)

    Like it or not, faith is comforting to many. I believe the injection of faith was minimal, and therefore once again trying to accommodate as many as possible. Once again, I don't see a problem with it.

  11. 9010101387  

    Man I saw guys crying. It was real sad. I wanted to keep the candle and the cup.

  12. late  

    Much as I wanted to, I was in class till 7:30 so I only then made it to see people still lighting candles. It seemed slightly irksome to see trash cans filled with candles in various stages of being burnt, but it was helpful to be able to light one, put it down, and just think for a bit.

    I doubt a lot of people knew him, but we can all think about what it means to come together in his memory.

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