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April 18 events to honor Collier, celebrate MIT Strong marathon team

Ceremony of remembrance to mark one-year anniversary of MIT Police officer’s death.
Photo: Dominick Reuter

On Friday, April 18, MIT will mark the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent death of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who was killed in active service to our community.

Ceremony of remembrance

A ceremony of remembrance commemorating Collier’s sacrifice will be held at 9:30 a.m. that day in a tent on the North Court.

Speakers will include Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey; Israel Ruiz, MIT’s executive vice president and treasurer; Cambridge Mayor David Maher; John DiFava, director of facilities operations and security; Jay Perault, deputy chief of the MIT Police; Sara E. Ferry, a graduate student in nuclear science and engineering and friend of Collier; and J. Meejin Yoon, an associate professor of architecture. Yoon is designing a permanent memorial to Collier, a rendering of which will be available for viewing after the ceremony and throughout the day on April 18.

The hourlong ceremony will open with the presentation of the flags by a joint honor guard of MIT and Cambridge police officers and the singing of the national anthem by Lt. Pauline Wells of the Cambridge Police Department. Institute Professor John Harbison will perform with student members of the MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the program will close with a benediction by Robert M. Randolph, chaplain to the Institute.

Seating will be limited at Friday morning’s ceremony of remembrance; a live webcast of the ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m., with on-demand video available after the event.

Community picnic and rally

From 1 to 2:30 p.m., Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart will host a community picnic on the North Court. Members of the MIT community and friends of the Institute are invited to attend and to join in cheering on the MIT Strong marathon team.

This group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni is running this year’s Boston Marathon to raise funds for the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund. More information about the MIT Strong team is available at

All members of the MIT community and friends of the Institute are invited to the ceremony, picnic, and rally, which will be held rain or shine.

The North Court will be closed to all vehicles on Friday, April 18, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Occupants of buildings in the area are asked to plan accordingly for deliveries and other activity that may be affected.

Press Mentions

Boston Globe

“The Sean Collier I knew was not much different from the man so many described in the weeks and months after his violent death. Sean was all of those things they said he was: honorable, courageous, and kind,” writes Priscilla Swain, a friend of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, in The Boston Globe.

Boston 25 News

Maria Stephanos of FOX 25 speaks with members of the MIT Strong running team about why they are running in this year’s Boston Marathon. “It’s a really excellent way to show support for the MIT community,” says runner and MIT graduate Jenn Gagner.

Boston Globe

As MIT prepares to mark the anniversary of Sean Collier's death, the Globe's Shelley Murphy reports that MIT will honor Collier’s character. Israel Ruiz explains: “We know that standing by our values, by our spirit . . . the things Sean exemplified and illustrated will make us move forward.”

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