Dozens of Purdue students attend funeral of slain student
Students at Purdue University boarded charter buses Tuesday that will take them to the funeral of a fellow classmate.
Andrew Boldt, 21, was killed a week ago today in the electrical engineering building on campus. Another engineering student, 23-year-old Cody Cousins, is charged with his murder.
Students and faculty who knew Boldt best are taking their best memories of him to his hometown in Wisconsin, hoping to honor his memory and console his family. The funeral Mass will be held at the Saint Frances Cabrini Church in West Bend.
About 80 students and faculty made the trip. Some students were reluctant to talk, as they are still coping with the trauma of Boldt's violent death. He was shot and stabbed in front of classmates.
Boldt had a lot of friends who thought the world of him. They carried books, blankets and backpacks as they boarded chartered buses for the four-hour trip.
"One of the most amazing guys I ever met," said Dan Spall. "Someone who was extremely energetic, extremely passionate about what he did."
Boldt was a buddy, a classmate and, as a teaching assistant in a demanding engineering program, a tremendous help to others.
"If you were to ask me two weeks ago who the best student was on campus, it would be Andrew Boldt," said EJ Williams.
Purdue officials say their counseling services have been busy with over 100 students seeking help after last week's traumatic shooting.
The university hopes that providing the opportunity to attend the funeral will help students cope with their loss.
"It'll give the family an opportunity to meet his friends that maybe they didn't get to meet, that were here at Purdue, and really understand how much he was loved on this campus," said Jim Hintz, acting dean of students at Purdue.
"I just feel like I need to lend my support," said Thaddeus Morkin. "I can't believe something like that happened at Purdue."
Hintz says campus mental health services are at capacity, providing students individual and group counseling.
"I think a number of them will take away different experiences, but ultimately this will be one part of their grief process. Each of the students are dealing with this in different ways, but this will be an opportunity for them to remember Andrew with the family and, I would imagine, there will be a large turnout of people that loved him and can be with them at this time," Hintz added. "We are working hard to make sure we have enough capacity to react, but we are able to manage it so far."
The university has declared Friday a day of healing. At the campus recreational center, there will be therapy dogs, yoga classes, comfort food and counselors. The hope is students who have kept their emotions bottled up will find a way to open up to the help that's available.
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels will also attend the funeral services.