UNC: Remember Eve Carson with service
Posted March 5, 2009 3:21 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill called on students, faculty and staff to give back to the community as a way to remember Eve Carson, the school's student body president who was killed one year ago Thursday.
"There was always more love in Eve, especially for Carolina," Chancellor Holden Thorp said. "Our traditions of public service and access never met a better friend. She never quit pushing us to do more for our world and for each other."
Carson inspired everyone – her family, fellow students, professors and UNC administrators – to work harder, Thorp said during a memorial service in UNC's Pit attended by about 1,000 people.
"Her enthusiasm, originality and persistence made her an unforgettable person. The best way to remember Eve is to accept her challenge to serve others," he said.
In audio recordings, several students whom Carson tutored and her colleagues shared stories about how she inspired them to serve others. Students attending Thursday's remembrance had similar sentiments.
"Every time this university remembers Eve, I always feel that same call to service, that same kind of motivation to live my life in a better way," UNC student Courtney Wood said.
The 20-minute ceremony was marked with a moment of silence followed by the UNC Bell Tower tolling UNC's alma mater, "Hark the Sound."
"It's a really special time to commemorate her for what she did, the impact she made on this campus," UNC student Courtney Woods said.
"It's going to be OK. We're going to move on from this," said Kai Toshumba, a UNC student. "We have, and we're just going to live the Carolina way – we're just going to do what Eve would have us do."
Carson was also remembered in her alma mater, Clarke Central High School in Athens, Ga., Thursday night. Former classmates, friends and family held a moment of silence around a tree planted at Clarke High in her memory.
Carson, 22, was kidnapped from her home the morning of March 5, 2008, and shot to death in the middle of a residential Chapel Hill street.
One man, Demario James Atwater, 22, could face the death penalty if convicted of either federal carjacking or state murder charges in Carson's death. Another man, Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 18, faces a state murder charge, but could not face the death penalty because he was 17 when Carson was slain.
Last month, the university awarded the first Eve Marie Carson Scholarship, established to recognize a student who makes outstanding contributions to the campus and community.
The university also has plans for a memorial garden in Carson's name on the southwest side of the Campus Y, near the Old Well on the UNC campus.
The daughter of Bob Carson and Teresa Bethke, Carson was president of her high school's student body.
She entered UNC in August 2004 and worked her way to student body president in 2007, defeating her opponent in one of the highest-turnout runoff elections at the university.
As a student and a student leader, Carson wore a number of different hats.
A double major in biology and political science, she was a North Carolina Fellow and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. As a prestigious Morehead-Cain scholar, she spent her summers volunteering and working overseas in Ecuador, Egypt and Ghana.
She was also a tutor at Githens Middle School in Durham her junior year, and in 2005, she was an assistant coach with a local chapter of Girls on the Run.
As a student leader, she served on numerous boards and committees, including the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, Carolina Leadership Development Board and the Honors Program Student Executive Board.
"It's not about her death. It's about her life and the way that she lived it," UNC student Jimmy Waters said. "I think that will inspire us all to make an effort to serve others every day."