A memorial service for Erin Edwards, a Boston University student who died in August, was held in Marsh Chapel on Monday.
The memorial provided a space for those who sought to keep Edwards’ spirit alive by recounting shared memories, applauding her talents and joining together for prayer and song.
Michael Holley, a journalism professor at BU, described some of his fondest recollections of his time as Edwards’ professor. He smiled as he revealed that she was the first student to ever send him a book recommendation. Though a seemingly small gesture, Holley noted that it was just one of the instances in which he was struck by Edwards’ academic dedication.
While Edwards’ primary career goals were in journalism, Nancy Lownstein, her Posse Scholar mentor, said she remembers Edwards’ ability to approach all of her other responsibilities with the same boundless energy.
“[She] truly cared about each of her classes,” Lownstein said. “She found a way to even make the most out of classes that were academic requirements — she had a genuine love for learning.”
During the service, members from student groups Edwards was involved with, including Posse 10 and the WTBU show “Man Eater,” took time to describe the many lasting effects Edwards left on their groups. Her peers in Posse 10 said Edwards always made a point to help others with their assignments, regardless of how swamped she was herself.
After a speech of remembrance from Derrick Lottie, who was Edwards’ boyfriend and a reading of a letter sent by Edwards’ father, everyone in attendance mourned together for the joy Edwards had left them.
The memorial also served as an opportunity for community building, encouraging those affected by the loss to reach out to one another for support.
With the listening room in the new Howard Thurman Center building now named in her honor, Edwards will continue to leave a mark on BU’s campus for years to come.
Katherine Kennedy, director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, said the university’s hope is that the room can serve as a reminder of Edwards’ legacy of empathy — inspiring all who use it to work towards the same level of curiosity and acceptance.