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Skidmore College

Skidmore remembers Samantha Sasenarine ’21

May 20, 2021
by Sarah Condon-Meyers and James Helicke

Skidmore faculty and leadership, friends and family gathered to remember the life of Samantha Sasenarine ’21 and plant a tree in her memory.  

Sasenarine, an English major and educational studies minor, was co-editor of the Skidmore News opinion section and president of the West Indian Student Association. An advocate for inclusivity and diversity, she died Feb. 5. 

A small group of her friends, family, professors, President Marc Conner and other College leaders planted a red maple in her memory and reflected on her life during a small, socially distanced gathering on campus Monday, May 17.  

Assistant Professor of English Nicholas Junkerman read an excerpt about the significance of change from science fiction author Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower,” which Sasenarine and others had read as first-year students in Junkerman’s Scribner Seminar.  

“Maybe I was thinking about Butler not just because it’s a book we read together but because I’m starting to understand how you changed me and how you changed us, not by passing but by the fact that you were here,” Junkerman said. “The love and the care that you showed to others, Sam, and the justice that you demanded from the world is a seed that will blossom in all of us and through all of us, but only if we care for it right.” 

Sasenarine will also be remembered at Skidmore’s Commencement on Saturday, May 22, where a degree in memoriam will be given in her honor. 

Destiny Donelson ‘21 reads a poem written by classmate Amanda Gomez ’21 entitled “Samantha.”

Destiny Donelson ‘21 reads a poem written by classmate Amanda Gomez ’21 entitled “Samantha.”

Family of Samantha Samantha Sasenarine ’21 attend the ceremony near the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.

Family of Samantha Samantha Sasenarine ’21 attend the ceremony near the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.

President Marc Conner speaks during the tree planting on Monday, May 17.

President Marc Conner speaks during the tree planting on Monday, May 17.

Brian Lora ’21 waters the red maple planted in memory of Samantha Sasenarine ’21.

Brian Lora ’21 waters the red maple planted in memory of Samantha Sasenarine ’21.

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