Why is Nov. 14 important to Marshall University?

Jerome A. GilbertEvery Nov. 14, Marshall University’s Memorial Fountain becomes sacred ground, as we come together to pay our respects. It is where every member of the Marshall family wants to be at noon on that date each year — gathered around that graceful monument with friends and our university community.

We may have accepted the tragedy of the event and have, in many ways, come to peace with the pain. But we have not forgotten. Our Marshall family continues to be strengthened by the lasting memory. We recognize that the resilience of this community and this university has triumphed over enormous loss. We have persevered together and have grown stronger because of it.

This yearly ritual, in part, defines our university. The ceremony reminds us, strengthens us and binds us together in love — the love of our lost family members, friends and colleagues; the love of each other; and the love of Marshall University.

And, at the end of the ceremony, we share a great sense of pride as we sing our Alma Mater together, and reflect on the metaphor of her light shining over dark waters. We are united as a Marshall family each Nov. 14 and always.

— Jerome Gilbert
President, Marshall University