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Keishanay Bolden - Photo Courtesy of University Housing & Dining Services
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Tributes to WIU Student Keishanay Bolden

June 2, 2020

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Updated June 2, 2020

Tributes to Ms. Keishanay Bolden, 18, WIU Law Enforcement & Justice Administration Major, who was killed Sunday, May 31.

A wake will be held from 2-3 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, June 13) at Burton-E.W. Calahan Funeral Home, 6217 S. Ashland Ave. Services will be held from 3-4 p.m. June 13 at the funeral home.


Morgan Knutsen, Resident Assistant, Lincoln Hall:

"Keishanay gave life to the floor. She could always be found joking around and smiling with her friends. There was never a day that she did not have a smile on her face. I will miss her funny stories and lively energy. She was not only my resident, but my friend. Someone who confided in me and I confided in her. Her passion for life was inspiring."

Curtis Pointer, Resident Assistant, Lincoln Hall:

"Keishanay was always the life of the party. Ever since I met her and her friends during summer orientation, she was always an outgoing individual. Keishanay was a person of determination, intelligence and joy. She had the ability to uplift the mood of anyone near her. A gifted young lady who will be truly missed."

Rebekah Buchanan, WIU English Professor:

"Keishanay always had a smile on her face and a contagious laugh. Not only was she fun to have in class, she was dedicated to learning and her community. This is tragic."

In the fall, students in Dr. Buchanan's class had an assignment to create a community collage where they wrote about different communities they belong to. Here's what Keishanay had to say about her community:

Englewood community - I have been living here since I was young. It's basically family. We all come as one whole battlefield and we went through the same struggle, knowing we all grew up around violence and police brutality. Still, we remained as a family even though we have disagreements, and when one person is hurt everybody is hurt. We all might not hurt the same but we can feel that pain when one of ours is hurt. Everybody has the same struggle because we all try to pitch in and help each other as a whole big family.

Stacy Dorsett, WIU Academic Adviser:

"I am still reeling from this. Keishanay was such a nice student. She loved to dance and always had a wonderful attitude. We've chatted a LOT during the end of the Spring semester getting things settled for her Summer and Fall, and she always had so many questions. She came to us to go into policing but recently decided she wanted to look at being a lawyer. She would have made a great advocate. This is a great loss to her parents, family and community."

WIU Liberal Arts & Sciences Professor Betsy Perabo:

"I was so sorry to hear about Keishanay. This is such a tragedy. My heart goes out to her friends and family."

Students in Dr. Perabo's Intro to Women's Studies class had an assignment to share advice their grandmothers would have for young women today. Here is what Keishanay shared about her grandmother:

"To women in today's society, be yourself and love yourself and any situation you think you can't handle best believe you can."


Posted June 1, 2020; Updated June 2, 2020

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- The Western Illinois University community is saddened to learn of the death of freshman Keishanay Bolden, 18, of Chicago, who was killed Sunday, May 31.

Bolden was pursuing her bachelor's degree in law enforcement and justice administration.

"We extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to Keishanay's family and friends," said Western Illinois University Interim President Martin Abraham.

A wake will be held from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, June 13 at Burton-E.W. Calahan Funeral Home, 6217 S. Ashland Ave. Services will be held from 3-4 p.m. June 13 at the funeral home.

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