Remembrance Day at Ramapo College was established in 2005 by the Board of Trustees. The purpose of this annual event is to memorialize the deaths of those who were members of the Ramapo community. This day honors students, faculty and staff who passed away during the previous year.
Prior to President Peter Mercer’s opening speech, the Sharp Theater was filled with the voices and laughter of the families, staff and friends of those who have left us. However, at 3 p.m., the voices and laughter promptly turned to silence.
Mercer began by addressing the purpose of the event.
“The event gives us an opportunity each year to pause, remember and celebrate our honorees’ contribution to Ramapo College,” he said.
Mercer shared each individual’s biography with the attendees.
“As I share each individual’s biography, I ask that those families and friends of the honorees stand while I am reading. Following the brief reflection, I ask that the families and friends remain standing for a moment to receive our silent appreciation,” Mercer said.
As he began to honor each person, a few pictures were projected on a screen to show the impact these individuals had on the College’s community and in their personal lives.
When honoring student Colin McNeill, who passed away in November, Mercer noted, “Later this spring we will award Colin his degree, as he was very close to the number of credits required to graduate.”
The day was very emotional for the families, friends and colleagues of the individuals who passed away.
After the reading and honoring of each name, Mercer invited all family, friends and guests to follow him to Memorial Grove, where a tree was planted in remembrance of those who passed this year. Each person who was honoring those individuals was asked by Mercer to help water the plant.
Following the tree-side ceremony the attendees were invited back to the Berrie Center, where refreshments were served and the family members, friends and guests were able to sign a guest book and leave a note in the remembrance box.
Ramapo College fondly remembers Anita Brandolini, Kathleen “Kay” Fowler, Violet Halter, Colin McNeill, Robert Russell, Theodore “Ted” Sall, Merrilee “Lee” Scott, Rev. Ronald “Ron” Stanley and Joseph “Joe” Wedral.