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WVU plans bell ringing ceremonies to remember students

large bell, engraved, fall leaves in background

WVU will hold three bell ringing ceremonies to honor the memories of 19 students who have died since the last ceremony was held in February, 2020. (WVU Photo)

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For more than two decades, a ceremonial bell ringing has served as a solemn remembrance for West Virginia University students who have died.

The tradition was silenced by the COVID-19 pandemic but will return to the Morgantown Campus Oct. 4, 6 and 7. Ceremonies coordinated by the Office of Campus and Community Life and Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, will be held to remember students who have died since the last bell ringing took place in February 2020.

“WVU is a community and that means, like any community, we experience loss. The bell ringing ceremony is an important opportunity for us to come together to mourn, to honor those we’ve lost and to offer support to their friends, family and loved ones,” Kim Mosby, senior associate dean of Campus and Community Life, said.

T. Anne Hawkins, director of the Carruth Center, said it’s understandable to feel sad or upset or even angry.

“Whether someone dies in a car crash, from illness, suicide or some other circumstance, our resulting grief is a powerful emotion, and I want our students to know that we’re here for anyone who is struggling,” she said.

The Carruth Center has a free, confidential text line where students can reach a live, trained Crisis Counselor 24/7 by texting WVU to 741741. The University’s partnership with Talkspace, an online therapy service, offers another free option connecting users to a dedicated therapist from a secure, HIPAA compliant platform. Students can also call the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431.

Faculty, staff, students and others are also encouraged to visit, WVU’s new website dedicated campus mental health, to learn more about available support and resources. 

Students will be remembered in ceremonies,

Monday, Oct. 4:

  • Lauren Renee Cole, Morgantown, died July 9, 2020
  • Eric Domanico, South Lyon, Michigan, died July 11, 2020
  • Paul Dolan, Kinnelon, New Jersey, died Oct. 10, 2020
  • Courtney Kekahuna, Wheeling, died April 28, 2020
  • Eric Smith, Clementon, New Jersey, died Feb. 28, 2020
  • Charles Nelson, Reisterstown, Maryland, died May 7, 2021
  • Claire LaPlante, Independence, died Feb. 26, 2020

Wednesday, Oct. 6:

  • April Denning, Morgantown, died Aug. 12, 2021
  • Lucas Hayman, Berlin, Pennsylvania, died July 13, 2021
  • Stephanie Palmieri, East Hanover, New Jersey, died July 24, 2021
  • Jeffrey Jones, High Point, North Carolina, died June 25, 2021
  • Hunter Hazen, Hagerstown, Maryland, died June 5, 2021
  • Emma Dolin, Edisto Island, South Carolina, died May 31, 2021
  • Zion Rogers, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, died May 25, 2021

Thursday, Oct. 7:

  • Madison Statler, Morgantown, died April 24, 2021
  • Benjamin Pravecek, Harper’s Ferry, died April 16, 2021
  • Megan Scott, Benwood, died Jan. 23, 2021
  • Seth Underwood, Parsons, died Dec. 30, 2020
  • Keyaira Mambo, Philippi, died April 3, 2020

The services will begin each day at noon at Oglebay Plaza. Those interested in attending are asked to gather near the bell of the U.S.S. West Virginia at least 15 minutes beforehand. Family, friends and members of the University community are welcome to attend.

Individuals who would like to speak should contact Kim Mosby at 304-293-5611 or



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