More than 700 panels of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on public display at Goucher College through tomorrow, and Susan Zeigler hopes the effect of this visit will be long-lasting.
"I hope it will move people to action," she says, "to donate to AIDS service organizations or be a volunteer or both. Or even to create a panel for someone they have lost."
Zeigler, a Goucher senior and co-chairwoman of the committee that has organized the quilt visit, has been interested in it since she saw part of it at a conference when she was in high school. She was moved to action last year after watching the TV documentary "Silver Lake Life."
"It was about these two men who were lovers who had AIDS and one of them, a filmmaker, decided to make a film about living with AIDS. It was a progression from when he started the film to when he died, and his lover finished it because he was too weak at the end.
"It touched me like nothing I had ever seen. I saw this guy die and it was not a graceful death by any means. No one deserves to go through that. And I thought, 'I have to do something here.' I felt like there wasn't enough being done."
She wrote to the NAMES Project Foundation in San Francisco and applied to bring part of the quilt to Goucher. She also formed a committee composed mainly of Goucher students, with another senior, Felissa A. Goldstein, as co-chairwoman.
Begun in 1987 in San Francisco, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has been a major source of awareness-raising. It now numbers more than 27,000 3-by-6-foot panels commemorating those who have died of AIDS. Parts of it travel to as many as 300 places worldwide each year.
Hours of display are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow with a closing ceremony at 3:30 p.m. The display is open to the general public.