David Shannon remembered for enthusiasm
Update: Tonight’s vigil has been moved to the Great Hall because of inclement weather.
As the UNC community mourns the death of student David Shannon, friends remember him as a person of endless enthusiasm.
Shannon, a freshman from Charlotte, was found dead Saturday night near Brewer Lane in Carrboro, police said.
Shannon’s girlfriend, Anna Magee, a freshman at the University of Georgia, wrote in an email that even though she is still trying to wrap her head around his death, she knows Shannon is watching over her from heaven.
“I just miss the jokes he would say because he thought they were funny, and honestly, most of the time they weren’t,” she said.
“But I laughed anyway because he would laugh so hard at himself, and I just laughed right along with him.”
She said she surprised him by driving up to Chapel Hill one weekend this semester, and she loved how much he was enjoying himself at UNC.
“He just shined up there,” she said.
Lt. Chris Atack of the Carrboro Police Department said Shannon was found near a bike trail that runs next to railroad tracks by a group of UNC students who knew him.
The cause of death has not been released, but police did not suspect foul play Sunday. Police said there did not appear to be any threat to the campus community.
A vigil will be held for Shannon at 8 p.m. today in the Pit.
Freshman Julia Hoover, who attended Myers Park High School with Shannon, said the impact he had on people’s lives in such a short time is a testament to his character.
“You could know him for two weeks, two months or four years and you felt like you knew him for a lifetime,” she said.
Shannon was a pledge in the fraternity Chi Phi. John Childress, the fraternity’s president, said he was one of the most enthusiastic pledges.
Childress said the fraternity participated in Habitat for Humanity’s Blitz Build, and Shannon raised the most money of all the pledges and brothers in Chi Phi.
“He put in the most time of anyone in the fraternity because he was so enthusiastic about giving back and helping out,” Childress said.
Sophomore Alec Dragelin said he attended church with Shannon growing up.
“David was the guy that, if you didn’t know him, you wanted to be friends with him because you knew he was a really cool guy,” Dragelin said.
“He loved life a lot and loved just being a friend to people.”
Sarah Spurr, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, said the sorority’s event, “Big Man on Campus,” which was scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed so it can be dedicated to Shannon.
Hoover said one of her last interactions with Shannon was when he wrote on her whiteboard Friday to tell her he had voted for president.
“It was his first time being able to vote,” she said. “I think he was proud of that.”
Childress also spoke about Shannon’s enthusiasm for voting.
“He was just so enthusiastic about anything he could take part in, anything he could contribute to.”
Freshman Anna Kate Ramsey, who also went to high school with Shannon, described him as warm-hearted.
“He was a true Southern gentleman, as people like to say,” she said.
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