Eve Carson used to say that she had friends, and she had friends that she had not yet met.
Today, on the fifth anniversary of her murder, I’d like for us to consider ourselves part of the latter.
In passing conversations about futures, jobs and post-graduation plans, five years can seem enormous and unending. In reality, five years can pass in the blink of an eye.
Since that March 5 that so suddenly and violently ripped this community apart, Eve’s love for our University has shone like a beacon of hope through the darkest of days.
It has connected us — the students who came to know her through conversations about the Carolina Way and the scholarships and events now held in her honor — to Eve, UNC’s bright and beautiful 2007-08 student body president.
Yes, there are still days like today, when the loss of Eve weighs like an anchor on your heart — that such a bright spot in this world could so suddenly, so permanently disappear.
But then there are happier memories.
Eve in a Carolina blue prom dress, cheering in the student section of the Carolina-Duke game.
Eve, sitting in the front room of the Undergraduate Library, catching up with friends and forgetting the hours of work she still had ahead of her.
Eve, dancing in the living room of her house on Friendly Lane on so many late nights.
And of course, there are the thousands who, armed with the determination and compassion that Eve once spread to this campus, have gone on to quite literally change the world.
There’s the UNC professor, Jock Lauterer, who launched a community newspaper project to engage the youth of Durham — the hometown of both of Eve’s murderers.
There are Eve’s peers who have since scattered all across the world, spreading her lessons of finding joy in others, of searching for truth and unending faith.
This would have made Eve so happy.
I often find myself wondering where we fit in to all of this. Like many of my classmates, I never met Eve.
I came to know her during the grisly testimonies of her final hours at the trial of Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. and during many subsequent conversations with those who knew and loved her.
Nonetheless, I have been profoundly impacted by Eve.
And I often find myself asking the question, how do we honor Eve’s legacy when we never knew her?
I think the answer is both easy and difficult, long and short.
We can honor Eve by carrying on in her footsteps — by working to make sure the university she understood and loved so deeply is a place where students’ voices are heard, a place where people always come first.
We remember her by striving to be great, but, like Eve always said, also remembering to be good.
That is what Eve would have wanted for us. That is the Carolina that Eve loved.
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