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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

UCF will honor Pulse victims tomorrow with remembrance ceremony, mural

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 1:37 PM

  • Photo courtesy of the University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida will be honoring the victims of the Pulse massacre on Thursday with several events on campus, including a remembrance ceremony and a mural installation.

Out of the 49 people who were killed by a gunman at the gay nightclub last year, two were part of the UCF family. Christopher "Drew" Leinonen was an alumnus who received his bachelor’s and master’s in psychology at the university. His partner, Juan Ramon Guerrero, was a pre-finance student at UCF at the time of his death.

UCF is installing a mural of the couple on the exterior of the school's student union to "honor them and to serve as a tribute to the spirit of love and hope that united UCF and the community in the aftermath of Pulse," according to a release. The mural, designed by artists Michael Pilato and Yuriy Karabash, was created with the victims' families.

  • Photo courtesy of the University of Central Florida
The "UCF Remembers" day of events on June 8 includes:

- A "Reflections on Pulse” art event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the student union atrium where you can create and share a tribute to the 49 victims.

- A "UCF Remembers" blood drive near the student union from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

- The opening of the art exhibition "Resilience: Remembering Pulse" at the UCF Art Gallery from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibition features photos, quilts, paintings and more to honor the victims and LGBTQ+ community. Orlando Weekly contributing photojournalist Joey Roulette is featured in the exhibition, which runs until June 30.

-  The "UCF Remembers" ceremony honoring the 49 and celebrating diversity and equality in the Pegasus Ballroom. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and will include a performance from the Orlando Gay Chorus and community speakers.

"Orlando was attacked on June 12, 2016," the university says in a statement. "In the aftermath of terror and tragedy, an outpouring of kindness and support united our community. It is in that spirit that we remember Pulse with a day of reflection, giving back, and coming together."

All the events at UCF are free and open to the public. Some events will be live-streamed on UCF's Facebook page. For more information about the events, click here.

  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro

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