Four University of Idaho Murder Victims Given Posthumous Degrees and Certificates at Commencement Ceremony

It has been six months since four University of Idaho students – Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Ethan Chapin, 20 – were stabbed to death in their off-campus residence. The brutal attack occurred on November 13, 2022 and sent massive shockwaves through the community. 

As the community continues to recover and the families continue the grieving process, the University of Idaho is honoring the lives lost in a major way – handing out posthumous degrees and certificates to the families of the four victims and honoring them at both of their commencement ceremonies on May 13. 

“The loss of Ethan, Xana, Kaylee and Maddie will remain in your hearts and minds for the rest of your journey. The strength and inspiration of their life accomplishments and their families’ devotion and courage is now an inseparable part of you as you go forward,” former FBI director Louis Freeh said during the commencement speech.

RELATED: One of the Surviving Roommates in the Idaho Murders Could Have ‘Exculpatory’ Evidence That Could Help Exonerate Suspect Bryan Kohberger

Xana Kernodle received a posthumous certificate in marketing on May 8, while Ethan Chapin is set to receive his certificate in recreation, sport, and tourism in the coming weeks. Kernodle, who was a junior, and Chapin, who was a freshman, were in a happy relationship together at the time of their death. 

“The University of Idaho continues to amaze us with its unwavering support. We appreciate the school awarding a posthumous degree to Ethan. We also want to recognize the thousands of kids graduating and the hard work they’ve put in to earn their diplomas,” Chapin’s parents said in a statement. 

On May 13, the University of Idaho honored Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves – both of whom were seniors – with posthumous degrees. Mogen’s family accepted a bachelor’s degree in marketing on their daughter’s behalf, while the Goncalves family was honored with a bachelor’s degree in general studies. 

“Madison’s family will always be members of the Vandal family. So, thank you for joining us today to celebrate her academic achievements and contributions to the University of Idaho,” University President Scott Green said of the Mogen family during the first of two commencement ceremonies on May 13. 

Scholarships Being Created in Honor of University of Idaho Victims 

Scott Green confirmed that scholarships are being created in honor of all four of the victims – three have already been created, while a fourth is in the works. Green vows to ‘never forget Xana, Ethan, Madison and Kaylee’ and ‘will do everything in my power to protect their dignity and respect their memory.’

In honor of Xana Kernodle, her family has created the Xana Kernodle Scholarship Endowment at University of Idaho and are vowing to match donations dollar-for-dollar (up to $10,000). Another scholarship, Vandals Supporting Vandals, was created by alumni of the university in honor of the victims.

Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, is being honored with the Ethan Chapin Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was created by Sigma Chi Foundation – he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. The University of Idaho is also working with Kalee Goncalves’ family on a scholarship to honor her life. 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Courts Unseal Search Warrant That Resulted in the Arrest of Bryan Kohberger – the Primary Suspect Behind the Murder of 4 University of Idaho Students

The school also created the Vandal Healing Garden and Memorial, which includes a ‘permanent reminder of Xana, Ethan, Madison and Kaylee, as well as a garden space for quiet reflection, remembrance and honor for all.’ Their lives might be lost, but the university and community aren’t going to forget them.

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.