WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — On Thursday night Spartan alumni in D.C. gathered for a vigil in memory of those students killed on Monday.
For about an hour, dozens of Spartan alumni stood and listened to each other speak about how the shooting impacted them.
“I didn’t realize how much it affects alumni when this stuff happens and it feels like an assault on our personal space,” said Veronica Miller, a 2014 MSU graduate.
Michael Bartleman, a 1992 graduate living in Bethesda, Md. has two kids who were barricaded in their dorms Monday night in East Lansing.
“They just wanted to come home, so my wife went and drove and met them halfway in Ohio. Another family had brought them halfway and they came home and just wanted to be with family for the weekend,” Bartelman said.
He’s one of more than 10,000 MSU alumni living in the D.C. area.
“I’m back there 10, 15 times a year so I feel like I’m still there,” Bartleman said. “I feel like I’m still part of the community and an event like this, it really makes you feel connected.”
He, along with many others felt a sense of comfort being around other Spartans.
“When you’re so far from home, being able to have a community with Spartans, it’s made us feel so much better,” said Jerry Ruskowski, president of DC Spartans, the local alumni chapter.
Many shared their happy moments of being on campus as a student, some who just graduated and others who are further removed.
“I just hope that students can rebuild and have happy memories like I also had there,” Ruskowski said.