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Letter regarding the establishment of the Collier Medal

The following email was sent this morning to the Institute community by MIT Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz.

To the members of the MIT community,

Last April, we lost a caring and devoted member of our community when MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was killed while protecting and serving the MIT campus and community in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. A senseless act that challenged our intellect, his death brought the MIT and Cambridge communities, as well as many others from both near and far, together in an unprecedented way.

The Collier Medal

Today, thanks to the generosity of all who have contributed to the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund, we are proud to honor his memory by establishing the Collier Medal. This award will be given annually to an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the MIT community and in all aspects of his life. Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness.

The first Collier Medal will be presented as part of the MIT Excellence Awards ceremony on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at Kresge Auditorium. I hope you will join in honoring the contributions of Officer Collier by submitting a nomination for a deserving member of the community and by attending the awards ceremony. Nominations for the Collier Medal will be accepted through January 10, 2014.

A permanent memorial

I also want to take this opportunity to update you on plans to create a permanent physical memorial to honor Officer Collier. Last summer, we convened a committee to gather and synthesize input from faculty, staff, students and friends of MIT about what the permanent memorial should be and where it should be placed. I am enormously grateful to the members of the memorial committee for their service. Work has begun to design the permanent memorial to be placed on the garden between the Koch Institute, Stata Center, and Vassar Street, with possible extension to the North Court. We plan a groundbreaking ceremony for the first anniversary of Officer Collier’s death on April 18, 2014.

In establishing this permanent memorial and in awarding the Collier Medal, we honor and celebrate Officer Collier’s life, celebrate the many acts of kindness bestowed upon and across our community, and strengthen the culture of caring that is the heart of MIT.

Israel Ruiz

Sean Collier Permanent Memorial Committee
Martin Schmidt, Acting Provost (Co-chair)
John DiFava, Chief of Police (Co-chair)
Kris Brewer, Webmaster, School of Engineering
Sara Ferry, Graduate Student, Nuclear Science and Engineering
Steven Hall, Chair of the Faculty
Mark Jarzombek, Associate Dean, School of Architecture and Planning
Sally Miller, Undergraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering
Kevin O’Connor, Patrol Officer, MIT Police
Cheryl Vossmer, Sergeant, MIT Police

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