Thousands memorialize Eve Carson

March 17, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
Tuesday thousands of students at UNC Chapel Hill and other Triangle campuses honored slain UNC student body president Eve Carson.

UNC Chapel Hill held a memorial service at the Dean Smith Center.

"We want to celebrate this special person we knew and loved ... she embodied the values of Carolina," said Chancellor James Moeser in his opening remarks.

UNC Systems President Erskine Bowles also had uplifting words to say about Carson. "Eve Carson made me feel special ... made me feel like I was her friend."

Board of Trustees Chairman Roger Perry said he will overcome the loss of Carson by asking himself, "would Eve like this?"

Many spoke about her contribution to the school as student body president and as a person.

"She was passionate, enthusiastic, engaged," Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Peggy Jablonski said.

"Presence and passion are not easy to define, but Eve did it," Seth Dearmin, former student body president, said.

After a musical tribute of "Amazing Grace" from UNC's gospel choir, Carson's friends tearfully remembered her.

"You could feel the Eve-citement," friend Anna Lassiter said.

"Thank you Eve for showing us the Carolina way," said Katie Sue Zellner, friend and student government member.

Among those in attendance included Carson's father, mother and brother. UNC's dean of students read a statement on behalf of Carson's father.

He wanted to address his daughter's peers, motivating them about their futures; "you have miles to go and missions to keep."

Carson, 22, was gunned down in the early morning hours of March 5, just off campus. Two men are currently facing first degree murder charges for her death.

Remembering Carson

Tar Heel students and students across the Triangle reflected on Carson's impact.

"Earlier it was more like mourning and stuff and I think people are getting together and becoming stronger through it," said Caroline Peterson, a freshman at Carolina.

UNC's Student Television station (STV) set up a microphone to tape a special Eve Carson show, allowing students to tell stories and share condolences.

"We are trying to help people just kind of make sense of it all," said David Harper, STVs videographer.

"Her death in particular has just really had a devastating impact on so many people that didn't know her," UNC Librarian, Tara Kachgal added.

Several say they never met Carson personally, but each have been touched by her under the worst circumstances. They want to celebrate her life and learn from her example.

"She was just, a very accomplished person and definitely set an example for what not only what a Carolina Student should be but what students across America should be," said Jess Mathews, a freshman at UNC.

At N.C. State, a moment of silence followed by a few words of reflection was held at the campus' brickyard at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

In conjunction with this event, the Senior Class Council asked that all NC State students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of the community join them in wearing Carolina blue as a show of support for Carson and for the UNC community.

To join in support of the UNC community, the Student Government Association at Meredith College asked all faculty, staff and students wear Carolina blue ribbons in remembrance of Carson. The ribbons were also in commemoration of all colleges and universities that have been affected by violent acts and tragedies on their campus.


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