The University of Texas at Austin is a place where so many dreams begin. On Friday, the campus was reminded of the dreams unrealized.
“We are brought together by the shared experience of loss,” said Latoya Smith, the chair of the UT Cares committee, who organized the event.
It is an all too common feeling this week at UT.
“Today's ceremony is a reminder not just of the tragedy of this week, but of the loss we have felt over the past year when 215 students, faculty and staff have left us far too soon,” said UT President Greg Fenves.
“It's heartbreaking,” said Smith.
For 28 years, the university has set aside this day to remember the contributions of all of those who died while working or attending UT Austin.
“Some have spent their entire professional lives at the University of Texas, others were just starting at UT making their loss even more inexplicable,” said Fenves.
For two years now, this ceremony has been tainted by on-campus violence. Most recently, the death of Harrison Brown, the freshman who died after being stabbed on campus Monday.
It's a reminder that the names read Friday are more than just names. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, husbands and wives.
As the flags are lowered and the tower turns dark, we are reminded this is more than a university -- it is a family and the losses are real.
“They will forever be a part the heart and soul of the University of Texas at Austin,” said Smith.
The University's a cappella group "The Ransom Notes" held a concert as a celebration of Harrison Brown's life Friday night.