As a tribute to honor those who have passed, the Sam Houston State University’s Orange Keys hosted the 10th annual Raven’s Call this past April 1. This event is held to pay remember all faculty/staff, students and alumni who have passed away between March 1, 2021, and Jan 31, 2022.
The event took place in the center of campus under the university bell tower.
“This is a time that we acknowledge the grief that is attached to every loss,” Sam Houston President Dr. Alisa White stated. “We acknowledge that you are here today to honor your loved ones and we celebrate their lives with you today and that is a joy for me because my commitment to you is that we will remember that we will honor that we will celebrate people who are important to you and they’re important to us.”
The event started with a moment of silence followed by three chimes from the bell tower signifying the three groups of those who have passed. After this, the SHSU R.O.T.C presented the colors.
All the names were read, and an orange or white rose was placed in the Raven’s Call memorial. Friends and family members shed tears and shared hugs as they heard the name of their loved ones called.
“At Sam Houston, once you’re Bearkat and you graduate you’re not forgotten,” Orange Keys President Juan Hernandez said. “What you do here will always be cherished, they’ll always remember who you are.”
During the ceremony, SHSU’s 12th President James Gaertner paid tribute to the 11th President Bobby K. Marks who died March 7, 2021. Gaertner included anecdotes of Marks’ life as well as applauded his success at SHSU as a professor, dean and president.
This tradition highlights the community at SHSU and the love the university shows to all who join. It gives family and friends, as well as current faculty/staff and students an opportunity to pay their respects with other fellow Bearkats.
“Once a bearkat always a bearkat and it’s the most important aspect cause some people forget about that,” Hernandez said. “You’re always remembered here on this campus and that’s the reason why this will always continue in the future.”