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MIT to establish award, build memorial honoring Sean Collier, campus police officer killed by alleged Marathon bombers

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  November 25, 2013 01:18 PM

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MIT announced Monday it will establish the “Collier Medal” – an annual award that will be given to a person or group who embodies the character and qualities of Sean A. Collier, a 26-year-old MIT police officer who authorities have said was shot to death in April by the two accused Boston Marathon bombers.

The institute also announced it will break ground on a permanent memorial to Collier on its campus on April 18, the anniversary of his death.

MIT executive vice president and treasurer Israel Ruiz wrote in a letter to the campus community Monday that the first Collier Medal will be presented as part of the MIT Excellence Awards ceremony on Feb. 25, at Kresge Auditorium. Members of MIT and its "extended community" are eligible for the award.

“Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness,” he wrote.

Nominations for the award will be accepted through Jan. 10 and can be submitted online here.

Ruiz said the medal is being funded through a fund MIT established to raise money to memorialize Collier through an award named after him.

He also said that work has begun to design a permanent memorial for Collier that will be placed on the garden between the Koch Institute, Stata Center, and Vassar Street, with possible extension to the North Court.

“Last April, we lost a caring and devoted member of our community when MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was killed while protecting and serving the MIT campus and community in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings,” Ruiz wrote. “A senseless act that challenged our intellect, his death brought the MIT and Cambridge communities, as well as many others from both near and far, together in an unprecedented way.”

“In establishing this permanent memorial and in awarding the Collier Medal, we honor and celebrate Officer Collier’s life, celebrate the many acts of kindness bestowed upon and across our community, and strengthen the culture of caring that is the heart of MIT,” Ruiz added.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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