‘A Celebration of Sisterhood’ honors BGSU crash victims


Students hold candles Friday night during the vigil that concluded the “Celebration of Sisterhood.” The event was planned as a memorial service for the three BGSU students who died in the March 2 Interstate 75 crash.

Families and friends of the Interstate 75 crash victims addressed the University on Friday evening in “A Celebration of Sisterhood.”

The memorial service took place at 6:30 p.m. on the University Hall Lawn in front of an estimated 1,500 people, said Dave Kielmeyer, University spokesperson.

Several alumnae from the sorority were in attendance, he said.

Ceremony speakers included Renny Blakkolb, junior Rebekah Blakkolb’s father; Libby and Katie Hammond, junior Sarah Hammond’s mother and sister; and Dee Bishop, a friend of sophomore Christina Goyett’s family.

University President Mary Ellen Mazey began the service and announced that a “Strength in Sisterhood Scholarship” was created to honor the sisters, including the injured sophomore Kayla Somoles and freshman Angelica Mormile. The scholarship was established with a $25,000 gift from an anonymous donor and is intended for a member of Alpha Xi Delta.

“A Celebration of Sisterhood” concluded with a candlelight vigil in front of the Alpha Xi Delta house, where balloons with notes attached for the sisters were released into the sky.

Mazey communicated with the families of the crash victims before and after the ceremony, including the families of the two surviving students, she said. Somoles’ family attended the event and Mormile’s family watched it livestream online.

“I gave every family member here a hug and told them how great they did,” Mazey said. “That’s a difficult thing to do, talking about their loved ones such a short time after the tragedy happened. I thought the speeches by family members were so touching, and really made the three girls’ beautiful smiles come to life on that stage.”

Junior Julie Rego, Alpha Xi Delta president, expressed her gratitude toward those who attended the memorial.

“After tonight, I think things are going to start to fall into place as they should,” she said. “We went through a tragic event, but we couldn’t get through it without the support and love that everybody has shown us.”


For the full story, read Monday’s print edition of The BG News.