CORVALLIS - The College of Engineering at Oregon State University will hold a memorial ceremony and dedicate a bench on campus on Saturday, June 12, to honor the memory of Skye Balkwill, an environmental engineering student who died in September, 2003.

Balkwill died in Eugene following a shooting incident, and he has been posthumously awarded his bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. The bench dedication and presentation of the degree to his family will be held at 10 a.m. in a lawn area on the north side of Benton Hall, and is open to the public. Some of his friends, family and teachers will speak at the ceremony, along with Ron Adams, dean of the college.

"Skye was an outstanding student and a tremendous person, very active in many areas and strongly committed to his field of study," said Peter Nelson, a professor of environmental engineering at OSU. "He was the type of person who really solved problems, and would have made just an outstanding engineer. His death was a terrible loss to all of us personally and to the engineering profession."

"The idea of dedicating a bench to Skye's memory was brought up by his fellow students and friends," Nelson said.

Balkwill was a leader in the activities of the Environmental Student Organization at OSU, an accomplished amateur musician, ballroom and salsa dancer, and sang in the OSU Meister Singers men's chorus. At the time of his death he was one of the leading students at OSU in his field of environmental engineering, had already completed two internships in private industry and had earned sufficient credits to be awarded his degree.

A fund drive to honor Balkwill's memory has also been established, to create the Skye Balkwill Memorial Scholarship in Environmental Engineering.

Anyone interested in making a donation can contact the OSU Foundation at (800) 354-7281.

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Peter Nelson, 541-737-6835