CEE grad student Thomas Petersen runs marathon to support MIT Collier Fund

April 16, 2014

By Denise Brehm
Civil & Environmental Engineering

CEE graduate student Thomas Petersen has been running competitively for a decade. He placed 13th in his first half-marathon at age 17 in Phoenix, competed in NCAA Division I cross country and track championship tournaments while at North Carolina State University, and finished 11th in the 2013 San Francisco Marathon.

He’s running the Boston Marathon April 21 with the MIT Strong team — not to compete, he says, but to honor the memory of Sean Collier, the MIT police officer who was slain April 18, 2013, in the wake of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing.

Thomas Petersen running the San Franciso marathon
Thomas Petersen running the San Francisco Marathon June 2013

“I want to run in remembrance of Sean Collier and to the best of my ability for those people that were really affected by his death: my teammates and friends at MIT who knew him,” says Petersen. “For a lot of people, the connection to that time is really tragic. Hopefully this will be a way to build community spirit and alleviate some of that sadness.”

Petersen was working late in Parson’s Lab the night Collier was killed. He heard gunshots and saw the aftermath of the shooting from a window in the first-floor lab of Building 48. “Had I looked over my shoulder, I would hav