Annual Islander Tribute Commemorates Lost Lives of Five Students

Published: April 08, 2016

Annual Islander Tribute Commemorates Lost Lives of Five Students

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Kind words and support filled the air of Lee Plaza at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, while students, family members, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate and remember the lives of five fallen students at this year’s Islander Tribute. 

“We are lucky to attend a university that sees value in honoring the memory of students who are no longer with us,” said Charles Saunders, senior business major and classmate of one of the students being remembered. “It’s not easy to lose someone too soon, but at least those who passed will always have a presence in the Islander Tribute Memorial.”

The Islander Tribute tradition was started in 2002 by Student Government Association (SGA) members and the Division of Student Engagement and Success (SEAS) as a way to commemorate the lives of current students who died during the academic year. Since then, the ceremony has become an annual event, taking place each year in April if any student has passed within the previous year.

“Islander Tribute is a special time for our campus community and the families of the deceased students,” said Ann DeGaish, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Student Engagement and Success. “Anytime there is a student death, it is difficult for our university. This ceremony is one of many things that helps in the healing of our community.”

Five students were honored at this year’s tribute:

Jeremy Baker – College of Business

Harold Gay – College of Science & Engineering

Denise Delgado – College of Liberal Arts

Sandra Lynch – College of Liberal Arts

Garret McDonald – College of Science & Engineering

During this year’s ceremony, which began in the University Center, families were presented with a memento from SGA, on behalf of the student body, honoring their student. The tribute then moved to Lee Plaza where paver stones engraved with the names of the departed students had been placed in a permanent memorial. Including those honored this year, there are 62 bricks commemorating Islanders’ lives.