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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

NMSU honors “Aggie family” to share the love of those lost

The+Aggie+Memorial+Plaza+honors+students+who+have+died+during+the+2023-2024+school+year.+Each+rock+has+the+name+of+a+student+along+with+the+years+they+lived.+May+1%2C+2024.
Leah De La Torre
The Aggie Memorial Plaza honors students who have died during the 2023-2024 school year. Each rock has the name of a student along with the years they lived. May 1, 2024.

Members of the New Mexico State University community gathered to remember the students, employees, and alumni who passed away during the 2023-2024 school year in the Aggie Remembrance Day ceremony on May 1. Organizers originally planned for the event to take place at the NMSU Spiritual Center, but they moved it to the East Ballroom in Corbett Center Student Union.

NMSU Dean of Students Ann Goodman opened the ceremony with an invitation for guests to enjoy the scenery of campus and a reminder that they were not alone in their loss. 

“We hope that you find being on campus to be as beautiful and as peaceful as we close that our academic school year,” Goodman said. “To our honored family and friends know that you do not experience this loss alone. We join tonight as an Aggie family to share our love for you and those we’ve lost.” 

After an invocation, posting of the colors, and a performance of the national anthem, Valerie Gomez read “What it Means to be an Aggie,” a poem that was also read at last year’s ceremony. Ariya Nilkaew read a poem titled “My Dear Aggie.”  

Families and supporters stand for the posting of the colors as the Aggie Memorial Ceremony begins. May 1, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

“If you were not excellent to the world, then you were excellent to us / If you were not beautiful to the world then let us tell you how lovely the day was when you first walked through Miller gates,” Nilkaew read. 

ASNMSU President Ala Alhalholy spoke about the impact lost students made on the NMSU community. She reminded guests to celebrate the influence their loved ones had on their lives. 

“Each of the individuals we honor today brought something unique and valuable to our community,” Alhalholy said. “They enriched our lives with their laughter, their kindness, their passion, and their dedication. Whether they were friends, classmates, mentors or loved ones, their presence left a mark on our lives that lives on an NMSU community as a whole.”  

“As we gather to honor their memory, let us not dwell on the sadness of their passing, but instead celebrate the richness of their lives and the profound influence they have on who had the privilege of knowing them.” 

Alhalholy also noted NMSU’s diverse community and her confidence in the student body to support each other through grief. 

ASNMSU President Ala Alhalholy reads out the names of students who have passed during the 2023-2024 school year. May 1, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

“NMSU has always been a place for students with different backgrounds and cultures to come together and create memories,” she said. “I wholeheartedly believe in the compassion and mindfulness that define our student body.”” 

After the Aggies names were read, NMSU Fire Chief Johnny Carrillo rang a memorial bell, which signified the silence of grief being replaced by beautiful memories of lost loved ones. 

One of the students who was honored in the ceremony was Thalia V. Chaverria, a former member of the NMSU women’s soccer team, who passed away in July 2023. Team members wore purple to the ceremony, which was Chaverria’s favorite color.   Over the course of the last soccer season, team members wore purple headbands and bracelets during all of their games. Coach Rob Baarts said Chavarria will continue to be remembered as long as he is coaching. 

“Oh, as long as I’m coaching there will be something on me in purple, forever,” Baarts said.

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Anne Andrews
Elizabeth Anne Andrews, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Anne Andrews is starting her first semester with The Round Up as a Staff Writer. She is currently a freshman at NMSU, majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. She grew up in a military family so she’s lived all over the US and Germany. Ever since she was young, Elizabeth Anne has always been curious about everything around her. It comes from experiencing different cultures and being homeschooled, both opportunities which allowed her to grow in her independence and creativity. In her free time, Elizabeth Anne enjoys writing poems, listening to music, or hanging out with her three siblings and cat.
Leah De La Torre
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sewing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.

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