The University of Miami community gathered at a memorial service this afternoon in remembrance of Ying Chen and Hao Liu, two graduate engineering students from China who passed away after being struck by a car in Pinecrest.
The memorial, which was held in the Student Activities Center’s Grand Ballroom, was filled with students paying their respects and offering their support to the families and friends of the deceased.
James M. Tien, dean of the College of Engineering, began the service and delivered a message in Chinese. An interpreter was present.
UM President Donna E. Shalala was also there, welcoming the attendants and extending condolences to the Liu’s and Chen’s family and friends.
Xiaodong Cai, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), told personal stories of his experience as a professor to Hao. Jia Song, a fellow graduate student and friend of Chen and Liu, followed with her own memories of the beloved friends.
Chen’s sister, Li, spoke on the unexpectedness of the tragic event, recounting her family’s plans to visit Miami, which her sister described as a “beautiful city.” The family also had plans to take a trip to Disney World together.
Li thanked professors, President Donna E. Shalala and students, even those who didn’t know Chen, for their kindness to her family during this devastating time.
Liu’s aunt, Li Shen, shared memorable remarks about her nephew, followed by a touching video made by friends of Chen and Liu in remembrance of their lives.
Chen’s video showed pictures from her best moments in life, including graduation day, moments with friends and family and her journey to America.
Liu’s video followed, full of baby pictures and family portraits. It ended with Liu’s story to come to the U.S. because he knew that is where he would find success.
The memorial ended with an interfaith service.