By: Diane Stirling
Three School of Information Studies (iSchool) students named as Syracuse University Remembrance Scholars last spring are busy this week hosting the tributes, traditions, and reflections that connect two communities and many lives over time and across an ocean.
Jonathan (Jon) Lee, Jacqueline (Jackie) Barr, and Hailey Temple, along with other Remembrance Scholars, are helping to lead Remembrance Week events. Those functions are designed to honor the 270 people, including 35 students studying abroad through Syracuse University, who lost their lives in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. As a way to honor those students, SU annually presents 35 Remembrance Scholarships of $5,000 each to undergraduate seniors. Each scholar represents a remembered student, and as part of a community-wide experience, scholars learn about those students and coordinate awareness events as remembrances.
For Jonathan (Jon) Lee, a senior studying IM&T with a dual major in policy studies at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, becoming informed about the program “hit home right away. These were our peers, this could have happened to our class, and that stuck with me pretty early on,” he said.
Reviewing archived files of student Stephen Boland is something Jon found “hard, but really touching, and it meant a lot to me,” he said. He and Stephen shared a fervor for music of The Beatles, and one of Stephen’s favorite quotes (about ‘life happening while you’re making other plans’) has inspired Jon during this senior year “I’m thinking about the future, applying to jobs; something I was very concerned about; what’s going to happen, where will I be in a year. That [quote] has given me perspective to enjoy things now, to take a step back. And I think that’s something that’s really done wonders for me this senior year,” Jon said.
Jackie Barr, a dual major with the iSchool and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, has been applying her marketing and graphics skills to lead branding initiatives for Remembrance Week. She’s also using her IT knowledge to create the first-ever legacy document, preserving information and developing a documentation process for use by the next generation of program scholars.
Jackie became aware of the scholarship as a resident assistant to one of Syracuse's Lockerbie Scholars. When she traveled abroad for the iSchool’s Eurotech immersion trip last year, Jackie extended her trip in order to visit her Lockerbie friend, stay with that student’s family, see significant sites, and hear firsthand accounts of that community’s response to the tragedy.
As the representative of Nicole Boulanger, a musical theater student at Syracuse, Jackie’s time as a Remembrance Scholar has been a more personal experience, she said. “It kind of refocuses things more on them as people, as opposed to victims of a tragedy. I think they should be remembered for the good they did on campus as students. The idea that they could be any of us, and that the issues brought up by the incident are still important today, that’s an important part of Syracuse University history and it deserves to be remembered.”
Hailey, also a dual iSchool/Newhouse senior, has been working a social media campaign for Remembrance events that also emphasizes a need for continued vigilance against terrorism. Representing student Wendy Lincoln, Hailey has tried to project Wendy’s optimism and warmth while carrying out the Remembrance Week theme, “Look Back, Act Forward,” she said. “Getting to have that connection with [Wendy] and trying to carry on that spirit to students now is a very big privilege,” Hailey noted. Because she views the iSchool as “a close-knit family,” Hailey also is focusing efforts there. “If we lost students, it would be devastating. I’m trying to carry that idea home and hoping more students become aware.” Sharing information about terrorism’s impact is something Hailey wants to keep doing after college so others recognize “how important it is to work toward making sure we don’t have any more people like Wendy Lincoln that become a part of a lost generation of students.”
Jon encourages other students who may be considering applying for the Remembrance Scholarship to attend the week’s events and learn about the program’s meaning. “It’s not about the money that’s attached to the scholarship; it’s never been about that for me. It’s really about the fact that these are our peers and we’re trying to remember them and honor their lives. The lessons I’ve learned and the people I‘ve met through this process mean so much more than the dollars mean,” he said.