Students and faculty at North Dakota State University in Fargo gathered Thursday night to honor four students who died this week.
The students, all from the Twin Cities area, died Monday in a car crash as they were on their way back to school. Nearly 1,000 students gathered to remember Lauren Peterson, Megan Sample, Danielle Renninger and Jordan Playle.
Student Body President Cam Knutson talked about how students responded to the tragedy by coming together.
"During this time of difficult shock and sorrow we've also found strength in so many areas," he said. "It's this strength that's been everywhere around us. Strength that I find so impressive and so encouraging and that I find brings light during these dark times."
After the memorial service students filed outside for a silent candlelight vigil. Tears and laughter broke the silence.
Like many of the students who came to the service, Jon Pilger did not know the students who died. But the junior from Northfield, Minn. said the tragedy has touched everyone on campus.
"You can tell right now there's kind of a gloom over the campus, but you could really tell in classes and whatnot that students are coming together over this," Pilger said. "There's a lot more prayer in the cafeteria and what not."
NDSU Vice President for Student Affairs Prakash Mathew said it might sound like a cliché, but he sees the campus as a big family, with students supporting each other.
Mathew said he's not seen a tragedy of this magnitude in his 30 years at NDSU. He said students are shaken.
"The students start thinking about it because they don't think life is fragile," Mathew said. "Today, I heard more people talking about faith. That is not a conversation often happens on a college campus."
Mathew said he expects the memory of the four lives lost to linger over the campus for some time.