INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 22, 2013, 09:52 PM

Memorial held for NDSU students who have passed these past two years

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A night of remembrance tonight in North Fargo, North Dakota State University invited family and friends to remember students who've died over the past two years.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A night of remembrance tonight in North Fargo, North Dakota State University invited family and friends to remember students who've died over the past two years.

You might remember these four girls, Jordan Playle, Danielle Renninger, Lauren Peterson and Megan Sample.

All four girls were killed on the way back to the University.

The teens were killed along an icy highway 94 when their SUV slid off the highway and crashed.

Two more teens would die in 2012 and 13.

Two faces that may be less familiar.

But all six lives will be honored for seasons to come.

All across campus you'll find small trees like this.

But they have a big meaning.

This tree was planted in front of this fine arts center, for Amanda Weitgenant.

A 19-year-old student from Ham Lake who went to sleep but simply never woke up.

Leon Weitgenant/Amanda's Father: "Mandy loved being up here and she would love the fact that they're taking care of one, the community, and two the tree just because of her."

Today Mandy's family remembers her as the musician, A strong woman who was a competitive swimmer and part of the marching band here at NDSU.

Her father calls her a go-getter.

Leon Weitgenant/Amanda's Father"if you told her it couldn't be done she proved you wrong."

But the life that her family says was so full was cut short.

In March of 2013, the 19-year-old would go to bed - never to wake up again.

Leon Weitgenant/Amanda's Father: "It's really hard. And there are a lot of questions that will probably never be answered."

And as frail as this tree looks now; it's sign of strength for the future.

Leon Weitgenant/Amanda's Father: "This means something to them people. And it's important."

For her father and everyone she left behind.

Quintin Porter/Amanda's Close Friend: "It went from a dynamic of she's my friend to, it really proved she was like a sibling to me. She was one of my sisters."

George Weitgenant/Amanda's Grandfather: "It has beauty, it has purpose and it represents people inside."

And as the seasons come and go, the leaves grow and fall: Mandy's legacy will continue to grow.

Leon Weitgenant/Amanda's Father: "it lets the family know she had an impact in this world."

Friends and family of the six students packed into Memorial Union to hear words from administration.

That included NDSU President Dean Bresciani, who was choked up as he spoke.

Dean Bresciani/NDSU President: "We have a saying here, once a Bison, always a Bison. And I would want everyone in this room and the families of these young people to know that this is a celebration and that their memory will be rooted, literally, in our campus and perpetuity.”

And to make it official, the university will place plaques at each tree in honor of the students within the next week.

Tags: