Bell toll scheduled in remembrance of 2008 shooting


Bell toll scheduled in remembrance of 2008 shooting

By Northern Star Staff

DeKALB | Those who will be on campus tomorrow may hear a five-bell toll at 3:06 p.m. to honor the five lives lost on Feb. 14, 2008.

Steven Kazmierczak, a former student, killed five students and wounded 19 before killing himself in Cole Hall.

Since then, the names of those who died — Gayle Dubowski, Catalina Garcia, Julianna Gehant, Ryanne Mace and Daniel Parmenter — were engraved into the memorial stones in the Peaceful Reflection Garden outside of Cole Hall along with the slogan “forward, together forward.”

In recent years, commemoration events included a wreath-procession, a candlelit vigil and speeches from NIU’s president and the executive vice president.

In 2014, NIU and family members of the victims made the decision to scale back on ceremonies commemorating the tragic day, said Joe King, associate director for institutional communication.

“A moment of reflection is a way in which NIU can continue its tradition of marking an unforgettable moment in its history, remembering the resiliency of our community and, most importantly, honoring those we lost,” Kelly Wesener Michael, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, told NIU Today Feb. 6, 2014.

However, family members continue to visit the university at least once a year.

“The Forward, Together Forward Scholarship was created after donations came pouring in,” King said.

The scholarship is awarded to exemplary students and was made possible through the generosity of more than 1,770 donors, according to the scholarship web page.

“The names will be released [Feb. 14], and there’s a private luncheon for the family where they meet all the students who were awarded the scholarship,” King said.