KSC commemorates Tyler Smith

Sean O’Donnell

News Editor


“It was his favorite thing to do,” Heather Smith said. “We used to launch sky lanterns every year on vacation.”

Since the motorcycle accident in which Tyler Smith was killed five months ago, his mother Heather has worked to keep her son’s memory alive.

On Saturday, April 9, Tyler’s life was memorialized on the Quad outside the L.P. Young Student Center with a tree and a bench.

When the Ceremony began at 11 a.m. inside the Lantern Room, Heather was introduced by Keene State College Director of Development Ken Goebel.

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Heather took the stage to thank everyone for their support and friendship and to announce the Tyler John Smith Scholarship award, which will be an endowed scholarship given out every year.

“I might start to cry,” Heather said before she started. “Because we’re here for happiness.”

By 11:30 a.m. the group of family and friends of the Smiths had moved outside where the memorial tree and bench were revealed, with an introduction about the tree from KSC arborist Jeff Garland about the strength of the tree, before Heather explained how important the Student Center was to her son.

“We picked the Student Center because Tyler spent so much time here,” Heather said. “Before he was even a student here he wanted to see the building because his brother had told him about it.”

As the library bells began to ring at noon, Heather and Jeff Smith, as well as Tyler’s father, brought out the sky lanterns, which they said their son loved so much.

“I just wanted this to be fun, because that’s what Tyler was all about,” Heather said.

It took the crowd almost half an hour to launch all fifty balloons into the air with the various colors of them visible into the distance.


Sean O’Donnell can be contacted at sodonnell@keeneequinox.com

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