CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A mourning University of North Carolina campus vowed Tuesday to continue the legacy of its slain student leader, who was shot to death and left on a street earlier this month.
An estimated crowd of 10,000 — including some wearing Carolina blue ribbons on clothing bearing symbols of Duke and N.C. State universities — attended the tearful memorial service for Eve Carson held at the Dean E. Smith Center.
Her father, Bob Carson, said in a statement through Dean of Students Melissa Exum that students should find solutions for the greatest needs of the world, including violence, prejudice and inequity.
"In the midst of his grief, Mr. Carson finds hope — hope that Eve's generation will solve some of the most the pressing problems of our time," Exum said.
The memorial, attended by Carson's family from Athens, Ga., began with praise from the UNC leadership faculty whom Carson awed and ended with a unified recital of the UNC anthem "Hark the Sound" — Carson's favorite song.
Several of Carson's friends, wearing T-shirts that said "The world is our dance floor" in memory of her love for dancing, spoke about her ability to excite and to mentor. They described her with dozens of adjectives that ranged from sleep-deprived to motivating.
Seth Dearmin, a former student body president and a friend of Carson, said "Eve was certainly more than a laundry list of superlatives."
"Let us today shed our last moments of silence for Eve," Dearmin said. "For though she led her life fully, she was not able to lead a full life. From this point forward, we must speak loudly and act boldly. Eve's mantle has been passed to us."
Others at the service included the top-ranked Tar Heel basketball team and Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran, who has said the shooting appeared to be a random act of violence.
The 22-year-old Carson was fatally shot earlier this month. Murder charges have been filed against 17-year-old Laurence Lovette and 21-year-old Demario Atwater, both of Durham. Lovette is also charged with murder in the death of a Duke University graduate student.
Carson was a prestigious Morehead-Cain scholar and a North Carolina Fellow who studied abroad in Cuba and spent summers volunteering in Ecuador, Egypt and Ghana as part of a school program. The premed student majored in political science and biology major.
Carson was also the student body president of Clarke Central High School in Athens and graduated as a valedictorian there.