Top Hat

Institute remembers Michael Dickinson

Carletta reminds students they are part of a community here at Rensselaer

On Wednesday May 1 at 8 pm, I attended the candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Michael Dickinson ’14. I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to his family as this must be an unbearable loss.

It’s times like these where our strength as a community is tested. This is a tragic loss for RPI and it really saddens me to see our student body lose a member. I had the privilege of attending the vigil last Wednesday, and it was nice to see the different assortment of people there to honor Michael’s memory. At the vigil, his mother spoke about her son and the great memories she had of him explaining his wonderful experiences with the Delta Phi Fraternity, Navy ROTC, and the friends he made at RPI. She also spoke of his loving and caring demeanor to the students, faculty, and staff assembled. The ceremony was very moving and allowed everyone there to collectively mourn the loss of one of our own. Michael was an RPI student, and he will live on in our memories of him.

Events such as these are not easily forgotten, nor should they be. One thing to take away from this is that we, as a community, must rely on each other. Whether we know one another or not is irrelevant, as we are all indissolubly linked to each other through RPI. This bond, formed between all of us as students, faculty, and staff, makes us strong as a community and provides the fortitude necessary to withstand the toughest of hardships in our lives. Always remember that there are people on this campus who are willing and able to assist you in times of need.

This is my last Top Hat of the semester. I just want to say that I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to write these articles, since it is a perfect window to talk to the student body about issues that would otherwise be difficult to communicate.

Congratulations to the seniors and graduate students who will soon be leaving us to join the world beyond RPI’s doors. I hope all of you are successful in your endeavors, and I am confident that your conduct and deportment will represent RPI in the best manner. For those students that are returning, I’ll see you in August, and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer. As always, if you have any questions, e-mail me at