Local News

Slain UNC Student 'Embraced the World'

Posted March 7, 2008
Updated March 18, 2008

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's slain student body president will be laid to rest Sunday in her hometown of Athens, Ga.

Eve Carson's family on Friday announced a visitation planned at the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church on Lumpkin Street from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Carson will be buried at the church 3 p.m. Sunday.

As investigators searched for more clues in the 22-year-old UNC senior's shooting death, those who knew Carson during her years at Clarke Central High School in Athens, remembered her as a generous and large-hearted spirit. (Read more about the investigation.)

"Eve valued life. All life, all people. It didn't matter to Eve. She just embraced the world," Principal Maxine Easom said.

Carson lived with a family in Ecuador and volunteered with a doctor in a peasant health-care center one summer, they remembered.

"There's not too many good human beings around anymore, and she was really one of them," Buddy Simms, Carson's biology teacher, said. She was "just a person who was going to do good things for people. She was so kind, so compassionate, so caring."

Meanwhile, state flags flew at half-staff on UNC's campus, and a number of professors canceled classes Friday. The university is on spring break next week.

Dozens of students wrote stories about their "Memories of Eve" on walls and posted pictures of Carson on announcement boards near the center of campus.

"I think it is a true testament to her leadership," Josh Criscoe, co-president of the Campus Y, said. "She was about empowering other people, including other people and making them feel important and helping them succeed."

Carson Leaves Legacy

UNC System President Erskine Bowles and other members of the Board of Governors remembered Carson and her family at a meeting Friday, with a moment in prayer.

Bowles said Carson left "an indelible mark" on him during their many meetings while she was student body president.

"I've known lots of young people and young leaders, but I have rarely met someone who immediately made you feel like she was your friend and you were her friend," he said.

"I can remember her coming to talk to me about the need to keep the university affordable. (She) was as strong and on point as anybody you can imagine," he continued.

She also made a mark on UNC athletics.

Basketball Coach Roy Williams said Carson's death has deeply affected his basketball team as it prepares for a Saturday-night matchup against rival Duke University.

Williams said he gathered the team at practice to put the game and Carson's death into perspective.

"It shows that this is just a basketball game. And it's a big game, it's a game that's going to get a lot of attention, but it's still a game," Williams said.

"I mean, we're talking about a young person. And we, as old people, we're supposed to die before our children, not have our children died before us," he added.

Two players knew her well, he said, though he declined to identify them. A photo submitted to WRAL.com shows standout Tyler Hansbrough posing with Carson.

"One of the headlines in this morning's '(The) Daily Tar Heel' hit me," Williams said. "It said, she loves the Quad in the spring and the arboretum in the fall, and 'I love Roy all the time.'"

UNC players will wear a tribute on their uniforms, and there will be a moment of silence before Saturday's game. A Duke graduate student is also leading an effort to have everyone who attends the game wear light-blue-and-white ribbons.

Carson, a pre-med major studying political science and biology, was active in leadership and service roles. As a Morehead-Cain scholar, she spent her summers volunteering and working overseas in Ecuador, Egypt and Ghana.

She was considering spending the summer after graduation volunteering in Kibera, a section of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, that was wracked by rioting early this year.

Carson pushed her class to make its senior gift a donation to the nonprofit group Carolina for Kibera to build a medical clinic.

"We would have been lucky to have her infectious spirit and life-force on the ground," said Rye Barcott said in a statement from CFK. "She embodied hope and goodness. This world is much less without her in it. But she will always be a part of us in spirit."

Kelli Clifton, who attended high school and college with Carson, remembered that as a freshman without a car, Carson would chat about her plans for the university when they shared rides home to Athens.

"Eve would want to talk about all the great things that she would want to do at Carolina and that she would want to make a difference," Clifton said. "There's nothing that she could not do."

A tribute to Carson in the student newspaper, "The Daily Tar Heel," on Friday praised Carson as "the epitome of the Carolina student" with an "extensive dedication to service and student groups."

"Eve is really the epitome of what Carolina tries to bring out in their students," Clifton said. "And for her to be able to accomplish that in less than four years; it takes some of us a lifetime to be able to do what Carolina wants us to do."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • justwondering2 Mar 7, 2008

    Well said Tarheelalum.

  • goheels_15 Mar 7, 2008

    eve was at some sort of meeting on most days or nights i would imagine with her position..i wouldnt put too much stock in that one event just because they have a little link to it..it was just the most recent one..heck she was at the basketball game tuesday night so there was a much bigger pool to choose from there as suspects.

  • carlam Mar 7, 2008

    She was at a Nike event the night before - and was wearing a dark blue tee shirt (on video). I wonder if someone there zeroed in on her. Felt he had to shoot her because she would tell on him (it just doesn't seem to be about the car). Maybe the guy has some scratches or cuts on him right now. This guy may have split town for a few days - called in sick? Went to the Nike event Monday night?

  • roadtrash Mar 7, 2008

    some of our fellow posters need to stop watching CSI and Law and Order. A few brief comments by CHPD is not tantamount to the investigative platform. They know what needs to be done. A press release is a brief "sketch" of the details. The totality of circumstances will be reviewed and all possible leads will be pursued. But remember...you chase the leads that make the most sense first while keeping an open mind. They most certainly have muliple investigators running in a million directions right now....with some level of supervision coordinating these efforts. A thorough investigation is not neatly packaged together in 45 minutes like all of the annoying police homicide shows portray...

  • Alicat Mar 7, 2008

    All the facts are not available to the public. There are many things we are not being told. Why? So that when they catch this mad insane person, they will have things that are not known to the public to hang him/her with. The police are doing their job and I am confident they will get answers. While there is somethings to suggest it may have been someone she knew, it still may be random. Like previous posters suggest, gang initiation, someone looking for trouble etc. Everything posted at this point is pure speculation. I hope they find whoever did this ASAP. There is a campus in mourning and in fear right now. There are parents greiving their daughter who want answers. There is a community in shock. A boyfriend in pain. So many friends suffering. So sad, so tragic and such a huge loss to this world. She rests in a better place but what a terrible way to die. Godspeed to all who loved her.

  • changein2016please! Mar 7, 2008

    I have to admit, I think it is very odd that this early in the investigation they have already concluded it was random...How do they know that? And if her car was the motive, then why dump it a mile away?

  • Joe Blow Mar 7, 2008

    If it was someone who knew her (which I kind of think it was) how could they be so dumb to leave or give the chance to leave evidence, DNA in her car?! I hope this monster is caught soon!

  • tarheelalum Mar 7, 2008

    "Relation of where body found with her home = Was not on the way to campus as police have suggested as a possible reason she left

    Suburban neighborhood w/ community watch at such an unusual hour = Not a typical place or time for someone to be "lurking"

    Multiple gun shots to the head = Rage, anger, passion, etc.

    She was SBP/most important student on campus = Too coincidental

    Vehicle found less than 1 mile away = Unlikely stolen to drive so little and not strip

    Not wearing a jacket when cold out = Not planning on being outside at all."

    "And you are an expert over what the police consider random or not random? ratherbnnc"

    No...just condensing the details that I feel suggest it wasn't random. I apologize...I thought it was common knowledge that these message boards exist primarily for readers to express their opinion on the articles and issues therein.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Mar 7, 2008

    Just like the Old West, it's time to start totin' 45's around so the innocent people can live freely again!!

  • ncsulilwolf Mar 7, 2008

    It is absolutely crushing to read that her roommates were the ones to identify her. If i ever had to go ID any of my roommates, sorority sisters, or classmates, I know I'd never be the same again.