Dear UHart campus community,
On July 3 of this summer, President Woodward notified us of the sad news that University of Hartford student Theeb Al-Yami passed away in an accidental drowning in the Chicopee River in Massachusetts on Friday, June 29. Theeb, an international student from Saudi Arabia, was a senior studying civil engineering and a well-known, contributing member of our community.
Theeb’s cousin Jaser Al-Rakah also passed away in the incident. Jaser took classes at UHart before transferring to Western New England University (WNE) in Springfield, Mass.
Both young men were attempting to save children who were in distress in the water. The children were saved but Theeb and Jaser were swept away by the current
A program to honor Theeb and Jaser will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. in the Rivers Memorial Building on the campus of Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, Mass. A bus for UHart students, faculty, and staff who would like to attend will leave lot F, in front of Konover Campus Center, at 3:30 p.m. The bus will leave the Western New England campus at 8 p.m. to return to UHart.
Members of Jaser’s and Theeb’s families will attend the program as will representatives of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Consul General of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts, and representatives from both universities. Posthumous degrees for the young men will be presented to their families. A member of the children’s family will offer words of appreciation for the young men’s sacrifice. The room will be set up for Maghrib prayer at the end of the program. A reception will follow.
Please indicate your intention to attend the program by emailing Mildred McNeill at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. Please state whether you are requesting a seat on the bus or you will travel in your own vehicle. WNE needs to be sure to have enough parking spaces and seating available, so please email your attendance plans in advance.