For Those Who Met A Friend: A Bench In Memory Of Ben Allison

Jan 17, 2017

Illinois State University students, faculty, and staff will have a new place to remember Ben Allison this spring.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the naming of a bench at last week's meeting to honor Allison, who was the victim of a hit-and-run incident in January of 2015.

His parents, Tim and Melissa, were acknowledged by President Larry Dietz when he announced the naming of the bench that will be a part of Redbird Plaza.

Melissa Allison said she is stunned by the news.

"It was about a year and a half ago that Deb Lesser first brought up the idea that we may be able to have a bench, a memorial for Ben," said Allison. "I tried not to get my hopes up. First she said we might have it, then she said we might not have it. Then, she finally called and said we got it and I'm floored."

Ben Allison was a student director at 103.3 WZND where he had a profound impact on many colleagues as a friend, deejay, and a fellow student.

Media Business Director Deb Lesser said the bench's proximity to WZND is very important.

"I think it's great that we can walk out of WZND and be near the bench and it will remind us of Ben, our friend and colleague," said Lesser. "It will be really nice for people that it's so close."

Lesser hopes future students will see Ben's name on the bench and want to learn about his impact on everyone he knew. 

Construction of Redbird Plaza is set to be finished later this Spring.