Current Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 13:17:35 -0500
As hundreds of students and community members raced across campus Saturday, they carried Eve Carson’s legacy with them the whole way.
The sixth annual Eve Carson Memorial 5K for Education brought together more than 1,600 people to honor the former student body president.
Junior Scott McGinnis is the former philanthropy chairman to Phi Delta Theta fraternity, which co-hosted the event with Pi Beta Phi sorority.
McGinnis said money raised supports the Eve Carson Memorial Scholarship as well as Pi Beta Phi’s literacy fund and CEO 4 Teens, an education charity created by a former UNC student and member of the fraternity.
The Eve Carson Memorial Scholarship is open to UNC juniors who have shown the potential for strong leadership. The money provides for the scholar’s senior year at UNC as well as a summer excursion.
Carson was a Morehead-Cain scholar and a member of the Phi Betta Kappa Honors society. She was murdered just a few months before she would have graduated in 2008.
The event Saturday drew a diverse range of runners eager to honor her memory.
“It was kind of cool because there was people running with their dogs, there were old couples, there were younger kids that were kicking my butt,” said junior Christina Campbell.
Campbell, who was in high school at the time of Carson’s murder, ran in the 5K for the first time this year and said she had a pleasant surprise when she arrived at the Old Well to start the race.
“There was a ton of people there. When I showed up, one of my beloved high school teachers was in the crowd — that was really cool,” she said.
Participants ran from the Old Well down Gimghoul Road, past Kenan Memorial Stadium and across campus to finish in Polk Place.
Campbell said the run meant more to her because of her time spent at UNC.
“Over the three years, it’s become closer to heart because I’ve learned to love UNC more,” Campbell said.
Though donations are still coming in, the event has so far raised $56,000 — $4,000 more than last year, said Pi Beta Phi President Amy Glenn.
“We’re just really happy that all the hard work paid off and so many came out to celebrate Eve’s legacy,” she said.
“It’s grown into this huge race that brings the community together.”
Glenn said Carson is still a role model for what it means to be a Tar Heel, even if there are likely no more students attending UNC who would have been enrolled while she was.
“It’s supposed to be about Eve and it’s supposed to be about the students,” she said.
“It’s to keep things in perspective and remember why we’re all here.”