CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story misstated the number of years the Eve Carson Scholarship has been hosting Thriller in the Pit. This was the Scholarship's fifth year hosting the dance event. The story has been updated to reflect this change. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
Students tapped into their inner Michael Jackson Friday as they danced the iconic “Thriller” choreography while promoting the Eve Carson Scholarship.
The annual event raises awareness of the scholarship for juniors. Winners of the scholarship are awarded money to supplement some of their school expenses senior year and a stipend for the summer.
The scholarship — which honors the former student body president killed in 2008 — is typically awarded to two students. Because of the success of fundraising, three juniors will receive the scholarship this year.
“We are embodying the scholarship, which is students celebrating students,” said Rachel Gogal, director of campus development for the Eve Carson Scholarship committee.
Members of the UNC dance team led participants in step-by-step instruction of the dance to the 1982 hit, “Thriller.”
After walking through the dance a couple of times, the music was turned up for the true debut. Following the dancing, participants and others in the Pit sang the alma mater.
Sarah Buchanan, a junior from Morganton, said she didn’t know about the scholarship before the event, but it was impossible to miss as she walked out of class.
“It’s a really easy way to promote the cause — the Pit is focal to Carolina,” Buchanan said.
After seeing the dance, Buchanan said she would consider applying for the scholarship.
Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs, and Student Body President Andrew Powell attended and danced at the event. Powell said that he has participated in the Thriller in the Pit before, but this year was the most fun.
“I feel a special connection to Eve, especially as student body president. I’ve always looked up to her and it is inspiring to see how much of an impact she still has,” Powell said.
Gogal said the event, which is in its fifth year, has grown in more ways than one.
Gogal said, in past years, the event has only included Thriller, but this year the committee decided to make the event longer and incorporated additional dances, such as The Wobble and the Cha Cha Slide.
Junior Miranda Barrigas danced to “Thriller” and said she will consider running in the upcoming Eve Carson Memorial 5K for Education. A part of the proceeds from the race goes toward the scholarship.
Barrigas, who plans to apply, said the energy set this event apart.
“I didn’t know Eve Carson, but I think that this would embody what she would want,” said Barrigas. “I think her spirit was here today.”
Applications for the Eve Carson Scholarship will be accepted until Oct. 10 at 5 p.m.
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