Sounds of a slow, acoustic guitar drifted out of the Loeb Playhouse lobby and into the noisy Stewart Center lobby, leading guests to the staff memorial service Wednesday afternoon.
Eighteen staff and faculty members were honored at the ceremony, the third such to be held. The service was supposed to be held outside of Stewart Center by a stone that bears a plaque commemorating deceased staff and faculty, but was held indoors due to weather.
Nicholas Howell, administrative and professional staff advisory committee chair, said the Golden Taps ceremony that honors students who died was the motivation for the similar memorial service for staff.
"It offers people outside of immediate family, co-workers, the opportunity to remember that person," he said.
Deborah Luedtke, clerical and service staff advisory committee chair, said she thinks the service came into fruition when clerical and service staff worked with the University after they realized there was a need for an employee memorial.
The guitar continued in the background as guests entered the dimly lit Loeb lobby, greeted others and took their seats.
Howell and Luedtke spoke briefly, providing insight to the service and comforting words to those in attendance.
Howell spoke of Purdue's size and said, "People who work here are more than just a number."
Howell said the service was meant to "celebrate what these people meant to the University and to us."
Howell and Luedtke took turns reading the names of those being honored. After a moment of silence, four men from Purdue Musical Organization made their way to the front of the room and began singing "Gentle Shepherd."
The "Purdue Hymn" followed and brought some attendees to tears. A comment Luedtke made when speaking at the beginning of the service symbolized the meaning behind the ceremony.
"Our University must always move forward, but we must never forget what these individuals have done."
nTo Honor and Remember:
nChristine C. Adams
nKathryn S. Amato
nWilford T. Aylor
nDonald J. Beck
nLarry D. Dale
nWilliam T. Fuller
nBonita E. Guinn
nAmy J. Ingram
nJanice K. Jones
nJohn M. Jones
nDavid C. Landreth
nJulissa M. Murphy
nStephanie L. Plattner
nDoris A. Robertson
nKevin M. Smith
nKelly E. Stingle
nJeanette S. Swan
nStephen C. Wemlinger