In the final print edition of each academic year, The Temple News publishes The Commencement Issue. It’s our way to highlight students who will graduate this year and say goodbye to Main Campus, and to touch on the themes that have emerged in our coverage.
For graduating seniors, commencement is often a time of celebration. But during this academic year, we have been regularly reminded that not all students make it to their graduation day. The most recent reminder was on Saturday night, when Danny Duignam, a junior risk management and insurance major, was found dead in his off-campus apartment.
Danny is at least the sixth student to die suddenly this academic year. At The Temple News, we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends, as well as the loved ones of other students who died this year: Jenna Burleigh, Richard Dalcourt, Cariann Hithon, Michael Paytas and James Orlando.
Graduation is a time to say goodbye. For graduating seniors, it’s goodbye to the professors who dedicated their time to them both inside and outside the classroom. It’s goodbye to the activities and student organizations that enriched their education. It’s a goodbye to their peers, with whom they forged close bonds over the years.
But for some students, goodbye looks a little different. We must not forget the Temple students who never got the chance to say these goodbyes. Instead, their loved ones had to say goodbye to them.
Some Temple students, faculty, staff and alumni were close with the students who died this academic year. For them, the unexpected loss of people who they love must have been harrowing. And even for members of the Temple community who didn’t know them personally, loss was tangible on Main Campus this year.
At the core of all of this, we are all members of the same Temple community — we all felt the pain of these tragedies.
To this year’s graduating seniors: Congratulations, and always remember those who can’t stand beside you.