Eve Carson's legacy lives on at UNC
Posted December 21, 2011 5:48 p.m. EST
Updated December 21, 2011 7:20 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Eve Carson was a Tar Heel through and through.
From her love of Carolina basketball to her role as the student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, those who knew the 22-year-old pre-med major have said that she embodied the university's values of fairness, justice, tolerance and service.
She tutored at a local elementary school, coached young girls for the nonprofit Girls on the Run. As the recipient of the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship, she volunteered in Ecuador, Egypt and Ghana on summer breaks.
Her enthusiasm for community service was contagious, friends have said, and so was her ability to get people involved. She was ready to conquer the world.
Her life was cut short in March 2008, though, after two men kidnapped her from her home, robbed her and shot her near the UNC campus.
Shortly thereafter, the university established a scholarship in her name that recognizes students who make outstanding contributions to the campus and community – just like she did.
Caroline Fish, one such recipient of the scholarship, was chosen for the work she did to bring awareness to gender-based violence on college campuses.
She was a freshman when Carson died.
"The impact of that just never went away," Fish said Wednesday, a day after Laurence Lovette Jr. was found guilty in Carson's death.
She applied for the scholarship in fall 2009 and was named a finalist the following spring.
"It seemed to me (to be) something that was based on honoring a legacy that was so impressive, and it really attracted me," she said of the scholarship. "I really wanted to be a part of that. I really wanted to find a way to give back to my university and to show my university that I also could give back in the same ways that Eve had."
The $5,000 scholarship allowed her to create an international research project involving human rights activists in Iceland, France and Turkey.
"It really helped me to see how simple it is – how simple change can be – and how easy it is," Fish said. "It's very easy to be able to make a difference."
Fish graduated in May and is now writing a book profiling 38 activists and how they are working to improve the world.
She calls it her "Eve book."
"It is something that the scholarship allowed me to do, and I wouldn't have been able to do it without it," she said. "(The manuscript), hopefully, will start an interest in being another voice and being another piece of change. That's my hope."
Fish hopes her work will honor Carson's memory and help carry on her legacy.
"You can't help but think about it every day after you've gotten the scholarship," she said. "Every time you're trying to do something on campus, you say, 'Am I living out Eve's legacy? Am I living out the Carolina way?'"