Kane, a criminal-justice major from Cherry Hill, is the only Rutgers-Camden student who has been killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since her son's death, the Rutgers-Camden community has blanketed her family with support, Melinda Kane said.
She is a widow, raising two sons and juggling heartache and acceptance. Tears come often, but she is taking steps forward, she said. Her youngest, a senior at Cherry Hill High School East, is applying to colleges and considering Rutgers.
"I feel good coming here," she said, visiting a campus memorial in her son's honor - a bronze plaque surrounded by flags and flowers. "Jeremy was happy here."
In April, members of the Rutgers organization Veterans for Education held a 5K run to raise money for a scholarship in his name.
At the time, Miranda Converse, 25, a Rutgers-Camden senior from Cherry Hill, was serving with the Air National Guard in Baghdad. She did not know Kane, but she and another Rutgers student serving in Iraq organized a similar 5K on their air base to raise money for the scholarship.
They ran at night to avoid the Iraqi heat.
On Thursday, Converse presented Melinda Kane with a T-shirt and Rutgers banner signed by many of the runners.
"Jeremy was in our hearts," she told Melinda Kane.
In recent years, Rutgers-Camden has worked to become a more veteran-friendly campus, said Frederick Davis, a veterans affairs coordinator hired by the school last year.
Rutgers has joined a growing list of universities that offer academic credits for a veteran's military experience, he said.
The school also opened a veterans lounge, where students are offered academic and career counseling.
In the last three semesters, the number of veterans studying at Rutgers-Camden has nearly doubled, Davis said.
"We try and make their academic lives as stress-free as possible," he said. "They've already dealt with enough stress."
Many of the Rutgers-Camden veterans said they were more like family than classmates. And as a family, they mourn the loss of Kane.
Bill McGrath, 23, a history and political science major, served a tour in Iraq with the New Jersey Army National Guard and recently volunteered for a second stint of duty. He is to redeploy in August.
A large, quiet man, McGrath walked next to Melinda Kane during the 5K benefit run in April and hugged her Thursday.
As the ceremony ended, Davis showed Kane a picture of her son that hangs in the campus center. In it, he sits at a table with other Rutgers-Camden service members. He is smiling.
"There he is," his mother said.
Contact staff writer Mike Newall at 856-779-3237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.