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WVU Student Bell-Ringing

Ceremonies held for those who died in 2020-21

WVU Today

Students, faculty, staff and members of the community gathered Monday in front of Oglebay Hall to honor West Virginia University students who have passed away.

 For more than two decades, a ceremonial bell ringing has served as a solemn remembrance of WVU students who have died.

The tradition was silenced by the COVID-19 pandemic but returned Monday, with two more ceremonies planned for Wednesday and Thursday.

 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

The bell-ringing ceremonies, which were coordinated by the Office of Campus and Community Life and Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, will honor 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,”  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.

family at bell ringing
Friends and family members gathered Monday at the bell on Oglebay Plaza to remember WVU students who died in 2020 and this year. Above from left is the family of Lauren Cole, aunt Debbie McLaughlin, and parents, Cherie and Michael Cole. Monday’s was the first of three ceremonies this week.

Honored Monday

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

To be honored today

  • April Denning, Morgantown, died Aug. 12
  • Lucas Hayman, Berlin, Pa., died July 13
  • Stephanie Palmieri, East Hanover, N.J., died July 24
  • Jeffrey Jones, High Point, N.C., died June 25
  • Hunter Hazen, Hagerstown, Md., died June 5
  • Emma Dolin, Edisto Island, S.C., died May 31
  • Zion Rogers, Monmouth Junction, N.J., died May 25

To be honored Thursday

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

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