Nohemi Gonzalez was living her dream of studying in Paris when a series of coordinated terrorists attacks rocked the city in November of last year. The college student was eating with friends at a cafe when she was shot and killed. This week, California State University, Long Beach has posthumously awarded Gonzalez her degree in Industrial Design, which was awarded to her grieving mother.
In November 2015, Nohemi Gonzalez was one of the more than 100 people killed in the Paris attacks.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) May 5, 2016
Credit: @NBCLA / Twitter
Gonzalez was a California State University, Long Beach student and a proud Mexican-American studying abroad in the City of Lights. She was shot and killed while eating at a cafe with friends just one month before she was supposed to return home to California.
Her death shook the CSULB community.
It was certainly a hard pill to swallow. Thinking about how just a year I was in your shoes. Nohemi you were a little tiggres who was one of the hardest working ppl I've met. Since you were always in the shop it was great to have you as company! You'd let me take tools from the shop without signing in (shhh) and would give me some good tips for whenever I needed design help. I'll never forget how cheery you were, and how fun it was to hangout with you once at that party. Seeing how our design family grouped up just for you showed me and a lot of people how much of a special person you are. 100s of ppl came to see you and I know you were watching from the heavens. Say hi to the real Pocahontas for me, and you will always be remembered… My favorite TA Nohemi. #paris #prayforparis #prayfornohemi #sad #life #rip #loveyou #nohemigonzalez #csulb
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“She’ll always be with us. She’ll still be roaming these halls, like she always does,” said Tim Mraz, her boyfriend of four years. “You’re always in my heart. I love you, baby.”
This week, CSULB awarded Gonzalez’s mother and stepfather her college degree.
Credit: WLS-TV / ABC7
According to a university spokesperson, Gonzalez had also been honored as a Outstanding Graduate from CSULB’s College of the Arts prior to the graduation.
Gonzalez was the first name called during the ceremony of about 800 students. Her mother was there to accept her diploma.
— Jane Close Conoley (@PresConoley) May 19, 2016
Credit: @PresConoley / Twitter
“She will always be in my heart,” Beatriz Gonzalez told Press-Telegram. “She was a strong woman who wanted a better life and a career. She was dedicated to her education.”
Gonzalez would have been the first person in her family to graduate from college.
Credit: WLS-TV / ABC7
“This year, the tragic and terrible acts of terror that scar our world hit hard and incredibly close to home,” said Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, the dean of the College of the Arts. “As many of you know, we lost one of our beautiful and talented students to the awful violence in Paris this fall.”
“Nohemi Gonzalez was a bright light among the very bright students of our design department,” the department dean said before awarding the diploma.
— LB Press-Telegram (@presstelegram) May 19, 2016
Credit: @presstelegram / Twitter
“”I always get emotional when it comes to remembering all the achievements of my daughter. It’s very sad for me,” Beatriz told WLS-TV ABC7. “She’s always going to live in my heart and the diploma is going to remind me of the wonderful person that she was.”