EAST LANSING, Mich. – The victims of the Michigan State University campus shootings will be awarded posthumous bachelor’s degrees in their chosen fields of study this spring.
The university has decided to honor Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner -- the three students killed at Michigan State on Feb. 13 -- by awarding them posthumous bachelor’s degrees in their fields.
“Michigan State University is honored that Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser, and Alexandria Verner chose to be Spartans,” Interim Provost Thomas Jeitschko said in a statement. “We will honor their legacies and recognize their commitment to Spartan values by awarding them posthumous bachelor’s degrees in their chosen fields of study this spring.”
Arielle Anderson was a junior at Michigan State University and a graduate of Grosse Pointe North High School. Her family said she aspired to help others and was studying to become a surgeon.
Brian Fraser was a sophomore at Michigan State University and a graduate of Grosse Pointe South High School. He was the president of Michigan State’s chapter of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and was studying business, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Alexandria Verner was a junior at Michigan State University and a graduate of Clawson High School. She was studying integrated biology and anthropology, according to her LinkedIn profile.
“Alexandria, Arielle, and Brian will forever be Spartans. We’ve heard the heartfelt stories of their aspirations, their selfless dedication to their peers and communities, and their commitment to academic excellence,” Board Chair Dr. Rema Vassar said in a statement. “Simply put, awarding each of them a bachelor’s degree is the least we can do to honor their families, commemorate their legacies, and commend their contributions to our Spartan community.”
According to the MSU Office of the Registrar, posthumous degrees are generally awarded in the name of the student upon the recommendation of the student’s major department and college. The recommendation is made for students who were in good academic standing and had made substantial progress toward their degree.
The dean of the college then submits a recommendation to the registrar, who then forwards records to the provost. Final approval is generally made by the president.
Transcripts of students who receive these degrees bear the notion “Degree granted posthumously.”
The university has also said they will be covering funeral and medical costs for the victims of the shooting.