NEWS

350 Show Support, Offer Condolences to Workers’ Families

July 12, 2012
Visitors to the memorial ceremony signed remembrance books in honor of each of the fallen construction workers.
Student Government President Raj Dwivedi spoke at the memorial ceremony, expressing his gratitude to the construction workers and offering his condolences to their families.

More than 350 students, staff and members of the community gathered Wednesday at UT Dallas to honor two construction workers killed in a July 7 crane collapse on campus.

Student leaders organized the Moment of Reflection as a way for the campus community to express its support and condolences to the families of Terry Weaver, of Grand Saline, and Thomas Fairbrother Jr., of Austin. The men were killed while attempting to dismantle a crane that was used to build the frame of the new Arts and Technology building.

Dr. Thomas Linehan, director of the Arts and Technology program, described the University community’s shock and dismay over the construction workers’ deaths.

Dr. Tom Linehan, professor and director of the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering at UT Dallas, addressed a crowd of nearly 350 who had gathered near Spirit Rock, which had been painted black in honor of the deceased.

“None of us could have imagined when we were breaking ground for this wonderful project a few months ago that we would have a day like today,” Dr. Linehan said. “Our community is filled with sadness at the loss of life on a building project that is designed to fill us all with hope.”

Student Government President Raj Dwivedi  led the crowd in a moment of silence. Afterward, attendees lined up to sign condolence books for each of the families.

“UT Dallas has a vibrant student community and spirit,” Dwivedi said. “We celebrate together, and we grieve together.”

Abraham Montoya, a junior majoring in criminology, heard about the campus reflection through students’ Facebook posts.

“We may not have known who these men were, but we appreciate that they worked on the ATEC building and wanted to reach out to their families,” Montoya said.  “I felt obliged to come.”

UT Dallas students have also established a benefit and memorial fund for the families of the two men. The University has built a contribution page online.