Gordon State College Hosts Inaugural Highlanders in Memoriam Ceremony

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

On Friday, April 15, Gordon State College hosted its inaugural Highlanders in Memoriam ceremony at the Barnesville campus Student Activity and Recreation Center (SARC) circle.

Highlanders in Memoriam is a program initiated by the GSC Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) to honor those that have passed within the Highlander Nation. It’s a program that will be held yearly, every third Friday in April, at 12:30 p.m. at the SARC circle.

GSC Dean of Students, Dr. Matthew K. Robison opened the ceremony with a formal welcome and recognized the stag statue at the center of the circle as a gathering spot for the college to celebrate, remember, honor and reflect on important and special events, moments and occasions.

“Though it is never easy to say goodbye to someone you love and care for; we hope by celebrating your special loved one during today’s ceremony, it can bring you some peace and comfort as we publicly acknowledge and celebrate their contributions to the Gordon State College family,” Robison said.

Next, Kierra Cooper-Williams, GSC ‘21-‘22 student government association president provided context and understanding of the ceremony followed by GSC President, Dr. Kirk A. Nooks called the names and presented one flower for each named individual at the foot of the stag. After, the campus community observed a moment of silence.

“Gordon is honored to incorporate this very special ceremony into the fabric of the campus tapestry as all members of Highlander Nation, both present and past, left a unique and memorable mark in the history of Gordon State College,” Nooks said.

With the ceremony being an inaugural event, GSC honored any student, staff and faculty member who has passed away within the past 10 years.

“I was honored to be a part of the inaugural Highlanders in Memoriam program,” Robison said. “It was such a moving event as the campus paused to remember and honor those students, staff, and faculty which have passed.”

Mary Smith, ’22-’23 student government association president, stepped to the podium to read a poem by Linda Ellis titled, “The Dash,” followed by a closing statement from GSC Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services, Alicia Dorton.

“The feedback from faculty, staff, and students concerning this event has been so sincere and positive,” Dorton said. “The ceremony was heartfelt and beautiful. I look forward for it to become an annual event.”