A memorial service and garden consecration provide consolation and healing

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Media Contact: Jordanian Bishop | Editor, Brand Management Department | 405-744-7193 | jordan.bishop@okstate.edu

The Cowboy family gathered for their second annual memorial service Saturday to honor Oklahoma State University students, faculty and staff who died over the past year.

The event took place in the newly built memorial garden and contained a garden dedication.

Vice President of Student Affairs Doug Hallenbeck hosted the memorial service. Under the direction of Dr. Hallenbeck, the university and student affairs department have improved their response to and support for community members following a death in the Cowboy family. The annual memorial service is just one of several initiatives to support grieving relatives and friends.

“We hope this service can bring comfort and space for reflection while helping our community celebrate the lives of members of our Cowboy family,” Hallenbeck said.

Senior vice president for executive affairs Kyle Wray offered condolences on behalf of the administration, and Stillwater pastor and alum Bryan Padgett offered words of comfort.

Kyle Wray, Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs, speaks with Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, Vice President for Student Affairs, and listens.

Three members of the Cowboy family – Student Government Association President Jack Edwards, Faculty Council Chair Dr. Pam Lovern, and HR Advisory Board Chair Melanie Bayles — read the names of the students, staff and faculty who have passed away over the past year. The university performance group Pokeappella provided the background music.

The memorial service included the dedication of the newly constructed memorial garden as a place for the campus community to mourn and celebrate the lives of other cowboys.

dr Aleigha Mariott, Director of Student Support and Implementation, provided background on the garden project. The idea received broad support from the SGA, the faculty council and the landscape design services.

Mariott paid tribute to the people who first inhabited the land where the Remembrance Garden now sits.

“Long before Oklahoma State University was founded, this land was the traditional homeland of Native Americans … we recognize, honor and respect the Native Americans associated with this land,” she said.

The Murray Case Sells estate sells largely funded horticulture. The site is anchored by a water feature celebrating the university’s agricultural history. Two 300-year-old pieces of reclaimed granite – a millstone and a millstone – were once used to grind grain and are now engraved with the inspirational phrase “Once a Cowboy, Always a Cowboy”.

The memorial garden is available to student organizations and departments who wish to commemorate a deceased person. The meeting and conference service of the Studentenwerk will help you to reserve a seat.

The head of the student affairs department reminds the Cowboy family that the college counseling services are on offer Bereavement counseling and bereavement services. The support of family, friends, peers and colleagues is central to the university’s response after the death of a loved one. Community members can find more information here.

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