First-year celebrated at memorial

Last week, the UVM community mourned the loss of Christina Menke.

Menke died in an accident that injured two other UVM students, and left many friends, family members, fellow students and faculty shocked and saddened. UVM hosted a gathering of remembrance April 10 in celebration of Menke’s life.

A first-year pursuing a degree in nursing from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Menke has been described by Annie Stevens, vice provost for student affairs, as a caregiver, a healer and a peacemaker. Members of the community were invited to gather and share memories and stories.

Patricia Prelock, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, spoke on behalf of faculty and students who worked closely with Menke. Many recall her as a dear friend, a beautiful soul, caring and kind, dedicated and sensitive,  and added that she always stood her ground Prelock said. “Selfishly, I am saddened by the lost opportunity to have known this amazing young woman, through more than just a smile in the hall…I am humbled by her capacity to affect so many people,” Prelock said.

Menke’s brother, Alex Menke, spoke in honor of his sister and shared a piece written by her other brother, Andrew, who was not able to attend the gathering.  “Christina was one of the strongest and most confident people that I ever knew,” he said. “It seemed like she could do anything. When other people were afraid or insecure, Christina was bold and adventurous,”Menke said.

Menke’s friend and fellow UVM student, senior Megan Loiselle, also shared a few words on behalf of her life. “Christina’s life was too short but it was full, passionate and inspiring,”  Loiselle said.

Menke’s long-time boyfriend, Luke Young, as well as first-year Jake Dahreddine, who was also injured in the accident last weekend, are members of the UVM Top Cats. Menke had a special relationship with the a capella group, and they performed two songs at the gathering. Menke’s boyfriend was the lead singer for their rendition of “Stop This Train” by John Mayer.

“Our joy is greater, our love deeper and our lives fuller because we shared Christina’s moments,” Prelock said.

Christina Menke is pictured.
Christina Menke is pictured.