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University Remembers Young Alumna at October 29 Candlelight Vigil

Event Caps off University Programming for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Sunny Kim 'll, whose story of academic excellence and friendship, cut short by tragedy, serves to promote domestic violence awareness.  

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 26, 2015) — Following a University-wide #JustAsk sexual violence campaign launch which set the stage for a month-long observance of domestic violence awareness, the University at Albany will host a candlelight vigil in honor of a young alumna who was killed last spring in South Korea.

On Thursday, Oct. 29, the University will pay tribute to Sunny Kim ’11, at 8 p.m. at the Uptown Campus’s large fountain. The ceremony, which will commence with a moment of silence, will be led by Kappa Phi Lambda (ΚΦΛ), the UAlbany sorority of which Kim was a member, and remember all who are affected by domestic violence.

The tribute honoring Kim, an international student who graduated with dual degrees in economics and East Asian studies, is part of a national Take Back the Night Foundation-endorsed “10 Points of Light” event. Designed to celebrate hope and healing for victims of domestic violence, UAlbany was only one of 10 campuses nationwide chosen by the Foundation to serve as host of this event.

“On behalf of the Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Phi Lambda, Inc., no words can express how much we miss Sunny,” said Amanda Yeh, a member of ΚΦΛ who organized the tribute. “She was truly one of a kind and brought much light and laughter to our chapter. We hope everyone will continue to pass on her story and promote domestic violence awareness.” Those wishing to learn more about Sunny and/or contribute to a fund to aid her family can go to http://www.gofundme.com/StoryofSunnyKim.

ΚΦΛ will be selling “Story of Sunny” wrist bands at the tribute, with proceeds benefitting the sorority's domestic violence philanthropy, Safe Horizon.

“It is an honor that the University was chosen to be one of ten campuses across the country to be taking part in the 10 Points of Light event. And there is no more fitting tribute to this candle lighting then to do it in memory of one of our own alumni who had a tragic end to her life in a domestic violence incident,” said Carol Stenger, director of UAlbany’s Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence. “Working with the caring women in Sunny’s sorority has been inspiring. We all need to work to promote awareness and prevent incidents like this from happening.”

In the days leading up to the tribute, UAlbany students will host a series of events including:

  • Monday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. — ΚΦΛ Philanthropy Workshop in Humanities 32.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 8:30 p.m. — Self-Defense Workshop with UAlbany’s Tae Kwon Do Club in Lecture Center 5.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. — A Hillel and Sigma Delta Tau Screening of Brave Miss World in the Campus Center Ballroom.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. — National sexuality education expert, author and UAlbany alumnus Bill Taverner speaks to fraternities and other men on campus about men’s role in sexual violence in Lecture Center 4, sponsored by The Advocacy Center and Alpha Chi Rho, of which Taverner is a member.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. — A clothing drive hosted by Sigma Delta Tau focusing on “Dress for Success” business attire for female victims of domestic violence, held near the large fountain. Additionally, a collection of women’s toiletries, such as toothpastes, combs, shampoos, hair ties and deodorants, will follow the vigil, sponsored by UAlbany’s Office of Student Affairs.

A series of programs have highlighted Domestic Violence Awareness Month at UAlbany including “Vicarious Trauma Training” for members of Capital District agencies that support victims of sexual violence and a viewing of “The Mask You Live In,” a compelling view of how a culture's narrow definition of masculinity can harm boys, men, and society-at-large.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.