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Service Today Remembers BU Students Lost in New Zealand

Van crash last spring killed three, injured five

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“For the families of the students who lost their lives, it is their precious son or daughter, brother or sister. We know that for these individuals, nothing will ever be as it was. This loss is too profound. We signify our understanding of the magnitude of that grief by gathering.”

President Robert A. Brown spoke these words at a candlelight vigil in May for three students who had just been killed in a New Zealand van rollover. His speech, explaining at once the limits of consolation and how community can support it, came the weekend of the tragedy, after many students had left campus for the summer. And so another memorial service, open to all at BU, is being held today at 4 p.m. in the George Sherman Union Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Ave.

Among those speaking will be Brown, the Rev. Robert Hill, dean of Marsh Chapel, and friends and family of the deceased students. School of Music students will perform a strings rendition of American composer Randall Thompson’s somber anthem Alleluia, commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the opening of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in 1940.

Daniela Lekhno (SMG’13), Roch Jauberty (CAS’14), and Austin Brashears (ENG’13) died in the crash. All of the student passengers were enrolled in BU’s New Zealand Study Abroad Program save Margaret Theriault (SMG’13), who was visiting from the Sydney, Australia, program. The most seriously hurt survivor, she was airlifted from the scene with a head injury. She returned to the United States June 14 and continues to recover, with hopes of returning to BU.

Hill says his words today likely will echo those he spoke at the May vigil, when he said that “grief can be a sacrament over time. It is a healing process. But it is work. It is labor…So Daniela, so Roch, so Austin, we remember.”

Grief counseling is available by calling 617-353-3569 or at Student Health Services, 881 Commonwealth Ave. Chaplains of various traditions are available for counseling through Marsh Chapel or by calling 617-353-3560.

1 Comments
Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

One Comment on Service Today Remembers BU Students Lost in New Zealand

  • Grace on 09.10.2012 at 10:03 pm

    May they rest in peace. Didn’t know them but they look like they were full of life and very likable people. For the bereaved, be strong in the hope that you will see them again……and they will still be smiling.

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