Zuzu memorial dedicated: (from Left) Glenn, Lori and Miles Verk with Zuzu’s dog Ponyo. Article and Photo by Steve Lang SRSU
Zuzu’s place at Sul Ross State University was earlier established in memory, and now, via monument.
The Zuzu Renee Verk Memorial Amphitheater was dedicated at a ceremony Thursday (Aug. 17) during the quarterly meeting of The Board of Regents of the Texas State University System at Sul Ross. The ceremony was held in the Morgan University Center due to threatening weather. The Regents approved the renaming of the facility in May.
Zuzu Verk’s disappearance and death attracted national and international media attention while forging strong community bonds. The amphitheater, part of an outdoor classroom/student access area developed in the past year, symbolizes her love of the outdoors, said Dr. Bill Kibler, Sul Ross President.
“This amazing young woman had a tremendous impact on our community and university family,” Kibler said, “and the words on the plaque (in the amphitheater) capture who she was and is.”
The plaque lists several statements, beginning with her own words and ending with a verse from the Book of Isaiah.
“My name is Zuzu Verk, and I’m from Fort Worth, Texas. I moved to Alpine and transferred to Sul Ross State University from UNT (University of North Texas) almost a year ago. A growing passion for nature drew me to West Texas where I interned for the Davis Mountains State Park. After deciding to pursue Conservation Biology as a collegiate career, I packed up my car and my dog, and the rest was history. I’ve since fallen in love with the Natural Resource Management Program and all the opportunities it presents. Every day that goes by, the terrain and wildlife remind me of how beautiful this frontier is, and how truly lucky I am to be here.”
The plaque includes two additional remarks from Zuzu: “I want to follow summer all around the world,” and, “Every great action starts with a small idea.”
Zuzu’s father, Glenn Verk, said, “To have Zuzu’s name attached to this beautiful place bestows a great honor on her memory. “We feel a special connection for her in this place.”
“This new feature on campus will be a place to be outdoors, a place for outdoor learning and a gathering place, where we will hear students say, ‘meet me at Zuzu’s place,’” Kibler said.