By Chris Casey | University Communications
AURORA, Colo. - Remember. Learn. Inspire. 7-20-12.
In the wake of last summer's theater shooting in Aurora, a coalition of students at the Anschutz Medical Campus came together to do, as one student says, "something constructive from something so destructive."
The students, from multiple schools and colleges at Anschutz Medical Campus, developed the concepts of pledge/tribute cards and wristbands with the message: "Remember. Learn. Inspire. 7-20-12."
The effort, which has resulted in hundreds of bands and cards distributed across the campus, has helped foster solidarity among students, faculty and staff amidst the tragedy.
"When something like this happens, I feel that it is important to maintain the unity and pride of the community," said Clarissa Manzi, a fourth-year pharmacy student in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. "It could be a small gesture such as the 'Remember. Learn. Inspire.' wristbands that can have a huge impact and serve as a visual reminder that there is always more we can do for our community."
More than 700 bands have been distributed. Participants in the "Remember. Learn. Inspire." campaign are asked to wear the wristbands and sign pledge cards, which will be displayed in various locations around campus, including the Health Sciences Library.
The pledge cards are free, but people can donate to the Aurora Victims Relief Fund through Community First Foundation. More than $300 has been raised and sent to the fund and the foundation.
Catherine Freeland, director of communications and advancement in the School of Dental Medicine, said if interested parties want to donate voluntarily, the "suggested donation" is $5. Wristbands and cards are still being distributed and can be picked up at these locations:
- School of Dental Medicine (administrative offices)
- Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (Dean's Suite)
- Library check-out area
- Colorado School of Public Health (administrative offices)
Molly Derry, a doctoral candidate in the School of Pharmacy, said she felt "extreme sadness and helplessness" after the July 20 shooting. She said the campaign serves as a reminder "to remember the victims, learn from our experiences, and inspire yourself and others to be the change you wish to see in the world," Derry said. "...We hope with continued exposure this campaign could evolve into a community reach-out program, allowing participants to contribute monetarily but also volunteer their time and expertise to help serve victims of violence."
Manzi said social media and school's and college's student councils were key in spreading the word about the campaign. "Our main goals of these efforts are to strengthen the bond of the Anschutz community and to do something constructive from something destructive," Manzi said. "We cannot pretend that the events from July 20th did not occur, but what we can do is remain positive and strive for a better future."
Communications directors at the schools and colleges on the Anschutz Medical Campus assisted with the campaign's designs.
(Photo: Tribute pledge cards are displayed at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.)