By Lorena Grajales, Staff Writer—
Every year, an honorary service is held in honor of UTC students, alumni, staff, faculty and retirees that passed away during the previous calendar year.
The goal of this service is to have a campus-wide celebration of the lives of those who once made part of the school.
With almost 11 thousand students at UTC, there were around 75 attendees in 2019’s Blue and Gold Memorial event. UTC continues to open the invitation to all while brainstorming new ways to get the message out to more folks in hopes of a larger attendance rate this year.
To achieve this, posters and yard signs have been put up around campus, along with emails to students and staff.
The Blue and Gold Memorial started back in 2012 after the university conducted research on other schools that held similar services on campus.
The event used to happen around the spring, but due to students’ busy schedules around that time with final exams and study groups, the executive decision was made two years ago to push it back to January.
To prepare for the memorial, UTC reserves the space for the event about one year out to be sure that it will be available. The school then works alongside human resources, communications and marketing, and student affairs departments.
In the process, the immediate family members of those who have passed away receive a formal letter invitation to the memorial.
The public is always encouraged to get involved by sharing a memory or special tribute to a specific honoree in a comment box that is available on the memorial’s web page.
The service runs for a short amount of time, generally 25 to 30 minutes. At the event, Chancellor Steven Angle starts by giving a welcoming to the attendees, then different individuals corresponding to every group starts reading the names.
For example, the student government president reads the students’ names, and the alumni board president reads the alumni’s names. A UTC campus minister leads everyone in prayer, followed by a candlelight vigil.
Then, a moment of silence is held in honor of all those who were named. According to the Director of University Events, Laura Cagle, this time is significant because it provides closure and a supportive environment for many people.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to just pause and remember who came before us and kind of let them live on in our memory,” Cagle said.
The Blue and Gold Memorial will take place Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. in Patten Chapel, right off McCallie Ave.
To share something about a loved one in the comment box, or for more information, visit https://blog.utc.edu/blue-gold/.