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The Road Not Taken

This week has been a particularly memorable week for KDS, the St. Lawrence community, and those who were close to alumna Barbie Burgmeier ’15. It was only just a few short months ago that Barbie’s passing caused a great sadness in our hearts, but it feels like it was just yesterday that she was swinging on the porch swing laughing along with her sisters. On Thursday, March 3rd, we celebrated what would have been her 23rd birthday. This celebration was not confined to the walls of KDS, but was celebrated in many different cities by her friends and family as well.

Above, Sean Kelly ’15, a former houseboy, and sister Emily Battaglia ’16, share a toast for Barbie’s birthday in Washington, D.C. Below, alumna Lexi Williams ’15, provided Sergi’s pizza for those who were in the Canton area in order for everyone to come together on that night and celebrate. Many other sisters and alumnae gathered together in their mutual cities to celebrate Barbie’s birthday.

On Friday, Barbie’s family arrived in Canton, where we had a small reception to dedicate the new porch swing. When news of Barbie’s passing first spread, a fund was started to replace the swing on the porch at Kappa Delta Sigma and place a plaque on it commemorating Barbie’s contributions to the house and St. Lawrence. The amount of money raised far surpassed the cost of the swing and plaque, and the rest of the money was donated to Barbie’s brand new scholarship started at St. Lawrence for women in science.

Featured from left to right: Alumna Amber Lawyer ’14 dedicating the new porch swing in Barbie’s honor.
(Also pictured: sister Sarah DiBacco ’16, and sister Emily Baldwin ’16).

Finally, earlier this afternoon at 1pm, a service was held at Gunnison Memorial Chapel to remember Barbie and celebrate her life. We enjoyed performances by the St. Lawrence University Sinners, the Laurentian Singers, and the University Chorus, which Barbie herself was a member of. We discussed her love of music, ability to make people laugh, and her natural ability to be a leader that everyone looked up to. Readings were made by Caroline Fleischauer ’15, Morgan O’Hare ’16, Alexis Williams ’15, Marisa Taro ’16, Kyani Vasquez ’16, Annie Deitderich ’16, Emma Fleming ’16, Lauren Stemler (Barbie’s Community Assistant Advisor), Alex Schreiber (Barbie’s advisor for biology and her professor), our University Chaplain Kathleen Buckley, and Barbie’s sister, Marissa Schwalm.

We would like to give special thanks to Kathleen for helping us organize this service for Barbie, and for your guidance to all of us through this difficult time.
We would also like to give special thanks to Barbie’s family for all that you have done to include and Kappa Delta Sigma in your thoughts and hearts.
Below is a video to tribute to Barbie’s time at St. Lawrence created by Marisa Taro ’16 that was played at today’s service. Please share and watch as many times as you please!

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