“Rest in Peace, Professor Klug.” “Bruin Strong forever.” “We are Bruin Family.” “Fly home safe, Professor.”
Those notes, and hundreds of heartfelt messages like it, along with origami swans, flowers and other remembrances, sprang up at an impromptu memorial to engineering professor William Klug. Hours after a campus shooting on June 1 claimed Klug’s life, UCLA’s iconic Bruin statue became the focus for an outpouring of grief from the campus community.
Today at 3 p.m., these written prayers, memorials and tributes will be collected by UCLA Campus Life and student volunteers so that representatives from the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science can present them to Klug’s wife, Mary Elise, and their two young children.
After Mary Elise Klug expressed interest in keeping the tributes left for her husband, the office of Campus Life began monitoring the condition of the memorial. Weather damage, especially to fragile paper tributes, led officials to ask students from the Undergraduate Students Association Council to help collect the items Tuesday afternoon, said Mick Deluca, the assistant vice chancellor of UCLA Student Affairs-Campus Life.
“Everyone at UCLA has been deeply saddened by the death of professor Klug, and the memorial has been a powerful way for Bruins to share their feelings of loss and to help heal the campus,” Deluca said. “The spontaneous memorial stands as a tribute to both professor Klug and the Bruin spirit. We hope that by preserving these touching remembrances and prayers from the sun and elements, Klug’s family can keep these memories as their own.”