Vigil to remember MU students who have died in the past year

Sunday, April 20, 2008 | 5:00 p.m. CDT; updated 5:55 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — MU students and families will gather Monday afternoon to remember seven students who died within the past year.

The vigil, called MU Remembers, is an annual event that commemorates students who have recently died. It will take place at 2 p.m. in Memorial Union.


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Chancellor Brady Deaton will speak at the ceremony, and Cathy Scroggs, vice chancellor for student affairs, will preside.

“This is a great way for our campus to come together, invite the family and friends of those who have passed away and honor and remember them,” Scroggs said.

Flags on campus will fly at half-staff on Monday, and the Memorial Union tower lights will be darkened in the evening.

MU Remembers has been a university tradition for the past seven years. This year, six undergraduates and one graduate student will be remembered.

Miranda Boeckman was a talented gymnast who competed for MU’s team during the 2003-2004 season. Before coming to MU, she trained with Okeene Zippers, Dynamo and Bart Connor gymnastic centers. She competed in Romania and France while she trained at Bart Connor Gymnastics Academy. Besides gymnastics, Ms. Boeckman loved hunting, fishing and shopping. She died in June 2007 of a heart arrhythmia. She was 22.

Travis Cooper was passionate about football. At Windsor High School in Imperial, he played football and ran track. His dream was to work for the Chicago Bears. He was a student assistant with the MU football team and had accompanied the team to the Sun and Independence bowls. He was also a member of the Beta Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Phi. He died in May 2007. He was 23.

Joel DeRosear felt most at home outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing and trapshooting. He was also part of the MU Water Ski and Wakeboard Club. At Clark County R-1 High School, Mr. DeRosear was the salutatorian of the 2004 graduating class and a member of the marching band. At MU, Mr. DeRosear was the historian of the Agriculture Systems Management Club, rush chairman of Alpha Mu honor society, sergeant of arms of the Independent Aggies and vice president of the John Deere Management Club. He died in 2007 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2004. He was 22.

Stephanie Joseph was a selfless person with a positive attitude. Although she was diagnosed with alveolar soft part sarcoma at age 9, she didn’t let it affect her. She still enjoyed running and ice skating. The cancer, which at one point was in remission, came back during her sophomore year at MU. She died in February 2008. She was 21.

Margaret “Meggie” Malm was an excellent student and talented soccer player before her death in September 2007. She played soccer at MU throughout her undergraduate career. Ms. Malm was selected as one of the Mizzou ‘39, a group of 39 senior students who excel in their academic studies, demonstrate great leadership skills and community involvement. Other academic achievements included the College of Engineering dean’s list, Big 12 Commissioners honor roll and the Mystical 7 secret society. Ms. Malm died from injuries suffered from a traffic accident in Davis County, Iowa. She was 22.

David Leroy Suthoff of St. Thomas was a junior majoring in agri-business management. He graduated from Helias High School in 2005 and was a member of the Helias National Honor Society. Mr. Suthoff also had a passion for wrestling. He was a member of the Helias wrestling team for four years, with which he went to the 2003 state wrestling championship. He also received the all-state wrestler award in 2003 and 2005 and “Most Improved Wrestler” in 2003. He was a lifetime member of 4-H Club. Mr. Suthoff died of an accidental drowning in the Lake of the Ozarks in May 2007. He was 20.

Neilson Rudd was a Missouri Army National Guard officer candidate as an MU junior. Mr. Rudd was from Wildwood and joined the National Guard in March 2006. He was a military policeman in the 1140th Military Police Company in Fulton. Before his death, Mr. Rudd had enrolled in the Missouri Army National Guard Officer Candidate School. During his time at MU, Mr. Rudd belonged to the Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Army ROTC. In December 2007, he was struck and killed by a car that lost control on an ice-covered road. Mr. Rudd was returning to his own vehicle at the time after stopping to help another motorist who had been involved in an accident. He was 22.

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