Purdue to mark first anniversary of Boldt's death with moment of silence

January 19, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Student Government plans to observe the first anniversary of student Andrew Boldt's death on Wednesday (Jan. 21) with a moment of silence at noon.

A senior in the College of Engineering, Andrew was the victim of a Jan. 21, 2014, homicide on campus.

The moment of silence will coincide with the usual Purdue Bell Tower ringing 12 times at noon.

"We believe this is the most appropriate way to mark the first anniversary of this tragic incident," said Caroline McKinney, vice president of Purdue Student Government. "The idea is for everybody - whether they're in class, eating lunch, in a meeting or whatever - to stop and take a few moments to remember Andrew. We hope for this to be a moment of remembrance and healing for the Purdue community."

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said, "As we approach the anniversary of one of Purdue's most tragic moments, last January's grief and sadness remain with us. We continue to be thankful for the community of support displayed by our entire Boilermaker family and for the exceptional work of those who responded so quickly.

"We continue to mourn the loss of one of our own, and our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of Andrew Boldt. We hope they find some comfort in knowing that our memory of his life has not, and will not, fade from our minds. Please join us in a moment of silence and reflection at noon on Wednesday to honor Andrew's life."

McKinney said PSG also plans to increase awareness of mental health on campus by setting up a booth on Wednesday (Jan. 21) and Thursday (Jan. 22) in the lobby area of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Education Library. Pamphlets from Purdue Counseling and Psychological Services and information on other sources of help for students will be available.

As it does every day, CAPS will have counseling services, including walk-in therapists, available for students who think they might benefit from it, said Susan L. Prieto-Welch, the center's director.

"Something like an anniversary event may or may not activate the grief process, and people can experience it in a variety of ways," Prieto-Welch said. "If talking about it might be helpful, we are very happy to provide avenues for doing this. We also can serve as consultants for students, faculty and staff who might want to look ahead and talk through what might be helpful in their particular contexts, such as speaking with a classroom, residence hall floor, or other group of students who might be affected by the anniversary. Sometimes feeling prepared is the most important step for folks, and we're glad to help in that regard as well."

Purdue also will pay tribute to Andrew on Wednesday (Jan. 21) on the home page of its website with a photograph from the candlelight vigil held on the evening of Jan. 21, 2014. The image will remain on the Purdue home page from noon until 1 p.m.

Through donations from the Purdue community, friends and family, the Andrew F. Boldt Cary Racing Scholarship has been established in memory of Andrew's love for building go-karts and Grand Prix racing.

Anyone interested in supporting the fund can make gifts payable to the Purdue Foundation with "Andrew F. Boldt Cary Racing Scholarship" in the memo line. Donations should be sent to: Purdue Foundation, 403 W. Wood St., West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Sources:  Caroline McKinney, 317-270-7844, carolinamckinney@gmail.com
               Susan L. Prieto-Welch, 765-494-6995, slprieto-welch@purdue.edu
               Annette Lamb, University Development Office, 765-494-3555, amlamb@prf.org

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