Audrey Smiles Too (An Audrey Award Article)

On April 7, the sun was shining down on family, friends, and the rest of the Sacred Heart community as they gathered outside the chapel to dedicate four trees in honor of students who have recently passed away.

Students and families joined together for a mass inside the chapel to remember the students, before heading outside to the dedication ceremony.

Trees have been planted for Matthew Dalling, Matthew LeClerc, Matthew Galligan, and Audrey Niblo. The tree’s location has been called the Garden of Remembrance and is located alongside the chapel facing the Main Academic Building.

Alongside the families and other students who attended the dedication, Fraternities and Sororities were there to remember their members and show support for one another.

Dalling was a brother of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Niblo was a sister of Theta Phi Alpha.

During mass, Father Tony Ciorra explained to the people in attendance the importance and astounding nature of the Sacred Heart Community. During his homily, he asked the question: “How long are you a pioneer for?” A student in the pews said, “Forever.”

He went on to explain that the four students had gone on to the next stage of being a pioneer. He then stressed the importance of relationships and how thrilled he was all the people had come to the mass, including the potential pioneers who were visiting for an Admitted Student’s Day.

Once mass had ended the crowd gathered around the trees as Father Tony spoke to the guests about each student and explained the plaques that have been placed in front of each tree. He then deemed the ground surrounding the trees sacred and should be treated as such.

Each student’s tree has a plaque in front of it written by their friends to try and capture the spirit of their friend who had passed away. Father Tony went to each tree and read the plaques aloud for those in attendance.

Niblo’s tree says, “When there’s ice cream and playful dogs… Audrey smiles. When help is needed and there’s hard work to do… Audrey smiles too. As sorority sisters, friends, and classmates, we remember dear Audrey Niblo for the light and joy she expressed and brought into our lives.”

Following the official dedication, family and friends gathered around the trees of their family member or friend and remembered their student.

“With Audrey’s birthday being recent, it’s been hard. But while I was there it was great. I really enjoyed seeing her family again, being with sisters and being at the dedication mass” said senior, Gloria Perkins who was Niblo’s sorority “Big Sister.”

After the dedication, Theta Phi Alpha and Niblo’s family walked to the Theta Phi rock on Greek Row to remember Audrey themselves.

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