Over 150 University of Southern Maine students, faculty and staff gathered at noon today, Wednesday, April 17, in front of the Sullivan Athletic Complex on the Portland campus for a moment of silence and to stand in solidarity with the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Similar noontime events were held at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, at which President Theo Kalikow and LAC Dean Joyce Gibson spoke, and in Gorham where Interim Associate Provost Dahlia Lynn presided.
In Portland, Chief Student Affairs Officer Craig Hutchinson introduced University Interfaith Chaplain Andrea Thompson McCall who spoke for several minutes before calling for a minute of silence during which participants were encouraged to lock arms or hold hands with those standing near them. Following the minute of silence, members of the group were invited to share their thoughts. Associate Professor of Sociology John Baugher reminded the group that 9/11 victims came from around the world, just as one of the dead in Boston was a Chinese national studying in the U.S.
After comments, Thompson McCall led the group up the walk to a tree that was planted on September 1, 2011, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack in New York City. White ribbons and markers were provided for any who wanted to leave a message about the bombings.
USM President Theo Kalikow asked the university community to participate in these events. Kalikow is a native of Swampscott, Mass. and holds degrees from Wellesley College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University.