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Garden honors UNC's slain student body president

Posted March 4, 2010

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill marked two years since the fatal shooting of a former student body president by dedicating a garden in her memory.

An estimated 400 to 500 people turned out Thursday afternoon for the dedication of the Eve Marie Carson Garden to remember the slain UNC senior.

Carson honored on second anniversary of death Carson remembered two years after death

"Here in it, we find hope and potential, and in Eve's presence, we reconnect with a treasured relative in our Carolina family," said Seth Dearmin, who met  Carson her freshman year, when he was student body president.

Two years after her death, the pain is still raw for the university community.

Carson, 22, of Athens, Ga., was kidnapped at her campus rental house early March 5, 2008, robbed and shot and killed in a neighborhood near campus, police have said.

"It digs up some emotions that I feel," senior Ashley Hodges said. "One that I kind of try to bury is anger, because I want my memories of Eve to be happy."

Yet even in the sadness, students who knew her say there is so much inspiration in Carson's life and that she left a legacy of service.

"When you were with Eve, you were really the only person in the world that mattered, and that's how she treated every single person," junior Kelsey Miller said.

Carson was a Morehead Scholar and pre-med major studying political science and biology. She also tutored and taught science at a local elementary school and volunteered in Ecuador, Egypt and Ghana on her summer breaks.

University officials said the garden, which sits in Polk Place – the main quadrangle on the UNC campus – will honor not only Carson but all UNC students, past and future, who die before they graduate.

Every aspect of the garden is intentional, university landscape architect Jill Coleman said. It includes a seating area with a blue stone seat, flanked by seasonal shrubs and flowers that were some of Carson's favorites.

The garden also has an inscription wall, made of Georgia marble that features a quote from Carson: "Learn from every single being, experience and moment. What joy it is to search for lessons and goodness and enthusiasm in others."

"One of the nice things about a garden is a sense of nature and order," Carson's father, Bob Carson, said in a UNC news release last month. "It's a great place and, as you've envisioned, it will nurture many wonderful friendships, ideas, laughs and thoughtful moments."

Carson's parents were in attendance at Thursday's dedication but chose not to speak.

Carson's legacy at UNC also includes the Eve Marie Carson Carolina Scholarship for an outstanding out-of-state student and the Eve Marie Carson Memorial Junior-Year Merit Scholarship.

The scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership and community involvement at the campus, local or global level.

Two men – Demario James Atwater and Laurence Alvin Lovette – face numerous state charges, including first-degree murder, in Carson's death. Atwater also faces federal charges and is expected to go on trial for those in May.

Both state and federal prosecutors have indicated they will seek the death penalty against Atwater. Lovette, who was 17 at the time of Carson’s death, is not eligible for the death penalty.


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  • shortcake53 Mar 5, 2010

    Does it really matter what the garden is named? Is there nothing else more pressing you can worry about? Try spending some time helping out a worthwhile cause and use your enegy and time more wisely, it would benefit a lot more people than bickering on here.

  • lmbl Mar 4, 2010

    Could it be that Eve's parents donated the funds to have their daughter memorialized by creating this garden? If I lost my child and had the funds, I would do something beautiful to honor her memory and address the neverending pain of losing her.

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH Mar 4, 2010

    Over any person's lifetime, there will be someone who didn't like them. But that isn't the point...Honoring her is great but it all seems awfully one sided to name it after her.

    Anyway...I have stated my view over and over again on this story. Let's go get those GOLO censors on the NAACP story!!! Those racists!

  • OSX Mar 4, 2010

    Youcanthandlethetruth... "Get your head out of the clouds and be realistic!" Ha Ha. I'm working on getting my head out of the clouds. Right now I care about what you think!!! There is no DIRT to be drug up on this girl because there isn't any. Find 1 person who didn't like her.

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH Mar 4, 2010

    OSX...what makes you think they care what you think? I can almost guarantee everybody didn't love her to death. Get your head out of the clouds and be realistic!

    MSN93...again, READ and COMPREHEND! The garden is not being set up for only "brutally murdered students of UNC". It is for students who have died prior to graduation. There are plenty of those! Why isn't named for any of them?

    Also, those debating about the other schools and their murdered students are the same as the ones debating about Eve and UNC's media blitz!

  • MSN93 Mar 4, 2010

    "UNC is wrong to do this! They are dishonoring the memories of other students who have died"

    This is the most ridiculous comment of all. YOU are the one who is dishonoring a person's memory. UNC has dishonored NO ONE.

  • MSN93 Mar 4, 2010

    "PEOPLE! Some of you are not getting the point a select few of us are trying to make! We are not saying Eve was bad and we are not "hating" on her. The fact of the matter is. The garden should not be named after her. If it is meant to remember all UNC students who have died, it should be called something more general."

    Are there other UNC students who were brutally murdered? Did I miss something? Besides, most of you are whining that UNC is not honoring ALL students from everywhere (such as Mr. Mahato and Miss Smith) that were killed. WHY is that UNC's responsibility???

  • OSX Mar 4, 2010

    I am almost sad that there is only 2.5 hours left before this ends. So they want to name it Eve Carson gardens. I have no facts to base this on but I bet... Everybody in that school loved her. Most likely she effected everybody she came in contact with in a positive way. They lost somebody special, they want this, and I am sure they don't care you think.

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH Mar 4, 2010

    MSN93...please tell me the exact line where I stated as you say, "that UNC should honor all murdered students, not just their own."

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH Mar 4, 2010

    MSN93....What are you talking about? I never said they needed to honor other students from other schools. They need to honor all students at UNC, yes! Definitely! Honor them by having a memorial with all of their names and naming it a general "name". If you are going to join a "debate" so late in the game, pick up some reading comprehension and read all posts. It was NEVER said by anyone here that she should not be honored or that UNC should honor every murdered person outside of the school also.