Memorial dedicated for Saint Mary's student Ziqi Zhang

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On Wednesday, November 5, a group of faculty and staff from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s gathered at the Grotto to remember Ziqi Zhang and dedicate a memorial that has been established for her. Ziqi was a sophomore studying mathematics at Saint Mary’s when she was killed in a car-bicycle accident on October 18, 2012.

Ziqi received an NDnano Undergraduate Research Fellowship for summer 2012, and worked with Prof. Alan Seabaugh on the electrical properties of graphene transistors. As a dual-degree student, she was also taking computer engineering courses at Notre Dame.

The memorial is a plaque secured to a large boulder that sits on Notre Dame property near the intersection of St. Mary’s Road and US 933. The plaque is inscribed with an excerpt from the touching letter sent by Ziqi’s parents to Saint Mary’s staff shortly after her death. It reads:

“…We are witnessing the gracious generosity that offers timely help in that wonderfully civilized country of the United States of America, which was my daughter’s dream land. We felt honored to have sent her there to study—a place filled with hope, kindness, and friendship. With gratitude and esteem to you, we accept your kind offer to help us. Though we are old, having lost our precious daughter, we felt the warmth through your actions, and we felt that it had been worthwhile for my daughter to have studied there. She was our pride and joy. She longed for this wonderful country of America and we wished she could have completed her studies, learned the sciences and civilization so that she could have played a worthy role in the betterment of the entire human race.   Parents of Ziqi”

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At the November dedication, the letter was read in both Chinese and English, by students Yanxi Liu (Saint Mary’s) and Mingda Li (Notre Dame). Prof. Yih-Fang Huang spoke on behalf of the Dean’s Office in the College of Engineering. Others shared fond and funny memories of Ziqi.

A duplicate plaque and photos from the dedication were sent to Ziqi’s parents in Jiangsu Province, China. Please remember Ziqi and her family in your prayers when you pass by the memorial.