Tree dedicated on Ohio State's campus in honor of Reagan Tokes

Published:
Updated:

COLUMBUS - With freshman orientation underway at The Ohio State University, parents and new students will find a new magnolia tree in the heart of campus near Mirror Lake.

At the base of the tree is a plaque with a name: Reagan Tokes.

The dedication ceremony Friday afternoon was solemn and mostly silent for the OSU senior who was murdered last February, just three months shy of graduating.

Her parents, Toby Tokes and Lisa McCrary-Tokes sat silently along with their youngest daughter, Makenzie, as they listened to some brief remarks from OSU President Dr. Michael Drake, who told them even though Reagan is not here, she is still with them every day.

"I remember speaking to you a year ago about that horrible tragedy. You are in our hearts," Drake said.

Tokes was killed last February by Brian Golsby, who was convicted of the murder in March. He's currently serving a life sentence.

The case drew public ire because Golsby, who was already a convicted sex offender at the time of the crime, had been released from prison months before Tokes' kidnapping, rape and murder. He had been assigned a GPS ankle monitor at the request of the state but was not closely watched in real time. He was also convicted of committing a string of robberies in the weeks and days leading up to Reagan Tokes' abduction in the Short North area as she left work at a bar.

Her parents on Friday, were appreciative of the efforts of the university to create a permanent space for their daughter on campus.

"Reagan was a special person. We miss her so much and to have a spot here on a special place ... she was buckeye proud," said her father Toby Tokes.

The Tokes are trying to shift the focus from the negative images and violence that took their daughter's life - and instead - are working on creative positive actions.

On Thursday they played host to a "Rally for Reagan" which centered around the theme that "actions conquer tragedy." The gathering in Grove City encouraged people to push for a change in Ohio law that would drastically change how violent felons are sentenced in prison and how they're watched once they're released. it also involved a self-defense and self awareness training. The Tokes are working with trainer Rob Fletcher to develop a self-defense program they hope will be adopted by colleges and universities.

Friday's ceremony on campus was largely an intimate event for family and friends of Reagan.

They did not utter the name Brian Golsby. They rarely have -- especially these days.

They would rather you remember Reagan's name or stop at a tree on Ohio State's campus and reflect.

Filed under: