The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday August 15th

Faith Hedgepeth granted sorority honor

This month, members of a Native American sorority on campus unanimously agreed to extend honorary membership to Faith Hedgepeth, a UNC student who was found dead in her off-campus apartment last year.

Leslie Locklear, president of the Alpha Pi Omega sorority for the the 2012-13 year, said the organization decided to make Hedgepeth an honorary member because of her expressed interest in the organization. She said many people knew how engaged Hedgepeth was.

“That was the main reason why we sought to make sure her dream of becoming a member of this sorority was fulfilled despite everything that has occurred,” Locklear said.

No arrests have been made in connection with Hedgepeth’s homicide case to date, and the Durham County Clerk of Superior Court’s office resealed records regarding her case for another 60 days on July 19. The records have been resealed several times this year.

Locklear said Hedgepeth is just the second person in the organization’s history to receive honorary membership.

Ashley Oxendine, the Alpha chapter’s alumnae adviser, said though Hedgepeth never got the chance to become a member during her time at UNC, she attended several of the organization’s interest meetings and was participating in a recruitment event hosted by the sorority the night before her death.

“She was very close with a lot of the sisters on campus and participated in a lot of the activities that they were involved in,” she said.

Symphony Oxendine, the grand president of the sorority, said Hedgepeth’s family will receive membership paraphernalia in her honor. Hedgepeth will also be listed as a member of the Pi chapter of the sorority, which is the chapter for members who have passed away, Symphony Oxendine said.

Locklear said Hedgepeth was involved in several activities on campus that brought recognition to American Indians.

“Faith participated in the Carolina Indian Circle, and she also participated in events with the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs,” Locklear said.

“Anything to bring recognition to Native Americans, and specifically her tribe, was definitely something that she wanted to be involved in.”

Ashley Oxendine said Alpha Pi Omega was the first American Indian Greek-letter organization in the country, and was founded at UNC nearly 20 years ago.

Locklear said she is glad to see Hedgepeth named as an honorary member because joining the sorority was something she had aspired to do during her time on campus.

“She was an amazing, inspiring person,” she said.

“She was beautiful on the inside and out, always motivational and she was one of the most optimistic people that I have ever met in my entire life.”

Locklear said Hedgepeth’s honorary membership will grant her all the same rights as a sister who was inducted.

“It’s great to know that she’s still given that,” she said.

“It’s something that she definitely wanted.”

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