WASHINGTON D.C. (WLNS) – For about an hour Wednesday night, dozens of Spartan alumni in D.C. stood and listened to each other speak about how Monday’s shooting has impacted them.
“It’s probably the most scared I’ve ever been in my entire life,” said Veronica Miller, an MSU class of 2014 alum.
“I didn’t realize how much it affects alumni when this stuff happens and it feels like an assault on our personal space.”
Michael Bartleman, a 1992 graduate living in Bethesda, Maryland has two kids who were barricaded in their dorms Monday night in East Lansing.
“They just wanted to come home, so my wife went and drove and met them halfway in Ohio. Another family had brought them halfway and they came home and just wanted to be with family for the weekend,” he said.
He’s one of more than 10,000 MSU alumni that live in the D.C. area.
“I’m back there 10, 15 times a year so I feel like I’m still there. I feel like I’m still part of the community and an event like this, it really makes you feel connected,” said Bartleman.
He, along with many others, are feeling a sense of comfort being around other Spartans.
“When you’re so far from home, being able to have a community with Spartans, it’s made us feel so much better,” said D.C. Spartans President Jerry Rukowski.
Many shared their happy moments of being on campus as a student. Some just graduated, and others are further removed.
“I just hope that students can rebuild and have happy memories like I also had there,” said Rukowski.
In the wake of the tragedy, the local alumni chapter is encouraging more alumni to just come together as Spartans to be with one another and of course if they can, donate to the victims’ funds.