Charity's memorial service stirs emotions

Students and faculty members took time to reflect on and say their final goodbyes to Kaitlin Charity in a memorial held for her in the Union Ballroom last Thursday evening.

Organized by the college administration, Charity's roommate, junior Chrissy Meyer, and sophomore suitemate Laura Banks, the service allowed students who were unable to attend her Oct. 26 funeral in her hometown of Islip, Long Island, to pay their respects.

A handful of faculty and approximately 40 students attended the event. A table displaying pictures of Charity had markers and flashcards allowing students to write a message to Charity's parents with their thoughts and sympathies. The cards will be collected and put together in a book.

"We knew people who couldn't go to Long Island wanted to remember her," said Meyer.

Dr. Robert Bonfiglio, vice president for student and campus life, spoke at the memorial on behalf of the college administration. He commented that as he was leaving her funeral, he was "wishing [he] had known her." Bonfiglio emphasized in particular how this death personally touched him: his younger brother was in a car accident in college that caused his brother permanent brain damage.

One of Charity's professors, Dr. William Harrison of the English department, taught her in three of his English courses and, according to Charity's friends, was one of her favorite professors. He spoke about the great sense of loss that he feels when he no longer sees her in class.

"The living have the responsibility to remember those who are gone," he said.

The book for Charity's parents will not be sent to them for several weeks, so that students who couldn't attend the service have an opportunity to share their thoughts. Those who would like to send a card to be included in the book should e-mail Meyer for more information at