June 10, 2002
Posthumous degree awarded on behalf of student killed in fall
By Louise Donahue
A posthumous degree has been awarded to Ryan Marshall Heumann, the College Nine anthropology
student who fell to his death from a cliff in Big Sur during a climbing accident
The loss of Heumann, and his contributions to his college and the campus, were recognized
at College Nine's graduation ceremony in the Upper Quarry Amphitheater on Saturday,
June 8. Heumann's mother, Carol Traver, attended the ceremony with some of her son's
friends and accepted the degree on his behalf.
|Ryan Heumann was interested in environmental issues, and had spearheaded plans
for an all-day spring-quarter festival on campus to be called "The ONE,"
which stood for "Offering New Expressions."
Heumann was 26, and had just become a father with the birth of daughter Ella Rose
to his partner, Shannon Delaney.
Heumann was interested in environmental issues, and had spearheaded plans for
an all-day spring-quarter festival on campus to be called "The ONE," which
stood for "Offering New Expressions."
With a focus on urban sustainability--including alternative energy systems--the
festival was to include music and dance performances and participation by both campus
and community organizations.
Plans for the festival have been put on hold, said Sarah Woodside, College Nine
coordinator for residential education. "I think the desire is still there, but
their passionate leader is not there," she said of Heumann's friends and festival
supporters. It was Heumann who first approached Woodside with his proposal for the
festival. "He was a pretty amazing person," Woodside said. "He was
extremely interested in environmental issues."
Heumann had been on track to graduate during fall quarter, and had only some elective
credits to complete, said Bob Taylor, senior academic preceptor at College Nine.
In such situations, the request for a degree must be made to the Academic Senate's
Committee on Educational Policy, which approved it, Taylor said.
Taylor said the college was already looking into granting a posthumous degree
when Heumann's mother requested the degree.
While this is not the first posthumous degree at UCSC, such degrees are "very
rare," said Executive Director of Admissions and University Registrar Kevin
Browne. "We do it for the family. We try to be as responsive as we can."
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