Local News

Funeral held for student who performed as UNC mascot

Posted March 31, 2007 5:48 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2008 4:27 p.m. EDT

— A funeral was held Saturday for University of North Carolina student Jason Ray, who had performed as the North Carolina mascot.

Ray died Monday morning after being in critical condition at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey since March 23. A car struck him from behind as he walked on a highway shoulder near his hotel in Fort Lee after going to a nearby convenience store.

He was there to perform as Rameses during the men’s basketball team’s Sweet Sixteen matchup in the NCAA tournament.

Thousands of Ray's friends attended a visitation in Concord Friday night. So many people wanted to attend the funeral that it was moved to a larger site.

“It's amazing and not really surprising because he had a lot of friends and I don't think no one person cares a lot about him,” said former classmate Ashley Hare.

Ray was scheduled to graduate in May with a major in business administration. He had performed as Rameses for three seasons.

UNC officials said they plan to hold a memorial for Ray as well. Details haven’t been finalized yet for that event.