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UNG Remembers Day memorializes students

On April 25, Teresa Watterson's parents were presented with a Bachelor of Science in biology degree that their daughter would have received from the University of North Georgia (UNG), had she not succumbed to cancer earlier this year.

UNG remembers
Dr. Alyson Paul, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students, spoke to those who attended UNG Remembers event on the Dahlonega Campus.

Watterson, a member of UNG's equestrian club team, was one of seven students memorialized at the first-ever UNG Remembers events on the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses.

"Each of these families entrusted their student to UNG," Dr. Alyson Paul, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said to the group gathered on the Dahlonega Campus. "They supported their student at UNG, with the hopes to see them graduate. Each family has also suffered a great loss this year, in losing their child, their brother, sister, sooner than they should."

Two ceremonies were held simultaneously at noon. One was held at the Memorial Wall on the Dahlonega Campus, which featured a new, second marker for students. Three were memorialized this year.

A second ceremony was held at the Memory Garden on the Gainesville Campus, which includes a new marker to honor the 19 students who have died since 2013 while enrolled at the campus. this year, four students who died in the past year were honored.

"This monument was erected to honor students who have passed away while being enrolled at UNG since consolidation," Stacie Rowley, associate dean for student life, told the group gathered in Gainesville. "In the years to come, while I sincerely hope we add no names, we will continue to have UNG Remembers Day on the last Wednesday of the semester to pay tribute to those students that we have lost."

The seven students memorialized this year were:

Dahlonega:

  • Ross Morkem, a sophomore member of the UNG basketball team from Suwanee, Georgia, who died Sept. 18.
  • Charles Boykins, a freshman biology pre-med major from Lawrenceville, Georgia, who died March 17.
  • Teresa Watterson, a senior biology pre-veterinary major from Roswell, Georgia, who died April 5.

Gainesville:

  • Matthew Benjamin Molle, a freshman physics major from Sugar Hill, Georgia, who died Sept. 15.
  • Tawana Heuer, a post-baccalaureate degree-seeking nursing major from Canton, Georgia, who died Oct. 7.
  • Gabrielle D. Hunter, a junior psychology major from Gainesville, Georgia, who died Nov. 5.
  • Claude Lamar Mullis, a post-baccalaureate degree-seeking general studies major from Gainesville, Georgia, who died Nov. 16.

Special guests at the Dahlonega ceremony included Morkem's parents, Scott and Maria Morkem; Boykins' father, Ingram Boykins, and sister, Cheyenne Boykins; and Watterson's mother, Lori Watterson, and her father and step-mother, Paul and Lisa Watterson.

UNG Remembers is a new event started at the suggestion of the UNG Traditions Committee, a group of faculty, staff, students, and administrators tasked by UNG President Bonita Jacobs with documenting existing UNG traditions and making suggestions for starting new ones.

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