The Center for International Programs dedicated their new international students’ lounge and held a plaque placement ceremony.
The event took place on Friday, Feb. 1, and served as a dedication and memorial for Madeline Casaus, a former administrative assistant, who passed away on Dec. 17, after losing her battle with cancer.
The evening began with a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the lounge that the CIP is regaining after 17 years.
“This is a huge thing for me, my colleagues and for all the international students that we have our own international students’ lounge, which was taken away from us in 1996,” Annie Williams, director of CIP, said.
The evening not even experienced students, faculty and staff from Colorado State University- Pueblo, but a large number of international students at CSU- Pueblo representing their respective countries.
“It was an inspiring event and it showed the diversity on campus and brought new students into CIP,” Williams said.
A part from students, faculty and staff on campus, a lot of family and friends of Casaus also came down to honor her at this evening.
“We didn’t expect so many people coming and the lounge was so full, that the office staff had to come out in the reception area,” Marissa Munger, student office assistant at CIP, said.
The plaque placement ceremony took place at 4:30 p.m., when Williams captured the attention of the audience by making the official announcement to honor Casaus.
“I was overwhelmed by the number of people who took time out to come and express their feelings about Madeline and shared their good memories with her,” Jaenne Gibson, director of English Language Institute at CIP, said.
Later, Gibson spoke to the audience with her experiences and feelings about Madeline and how her death has completely changed the CIP’s office environment, and based upon her contributions to CIP, what a great loss this office has faced.
After Gibson’s speech, Casaus’s sister and brother-in-law made an emotional speech about the family side experience of their loss.
“The evening was to honor my best colleague and my most faithful friend, who always loved my food,” Heidi Laino, assistant director at CIP, said.
There was also a minute of silence to honor Casaus, followed by the placing of a plaque on the wall of the international students’ lounge by Williams and Munger. Gibson followed by positioning flowers.
“It was really moving to see the entire students lounge filled with Madeline’s friends and family, showing that even though she is no more in this world but she will always be remembered by the people who knew her and she had good bonds with,” Noelle Clark, a student office assistant at CIP, said.