The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 3rd

UNC-system happenings for Nov. 25, 2014

ASU grieves multiple student deaths

Appalachian State University has experienced three student deaths this semester — two of which happened in the last 11 days.

Freshman Jeremy Sprinkle of Kernersville was found dead in his residential hall on Nov. 13. Five days later, senior Grayson Huffman of Harrisburg was found dead in his apartment. The police do not suspect foul play with either case, and their investigations are ongoing.

Anna Smith of High Point was missing for over a week before being discovered in a wooded area on September 13. The N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of death to be suicide.

"Our hearts and thoughts are with the family of Grayson Huffman, who lost a son and brother," said J.J. Brown, dean of students. "At Appalachian, we care deeply about each of our students. It is heartbreaking to lose a member of our community."

Western Carolina band to march in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Western Carolina University's marching band will lead one of the nation's most beloved Turkey Day celebrations Thursday.

The band was selected from over 70 applicants as the lead band for the 90th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

David Starnes, director of athletic bands and assistant professor of music, directs the Pride of the Mountains marching band.

The band will lead the parade through the streets of Manhattan to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believing” and the Western Carolina Fight Song, and will conclude with songs from New York-native Billy Joel.

“We’re deeply honored and excited to give these kids an opportunity like this — to play in New York in front of millions, but also the billions watching worldwide,” Starnes said.

ECU performs surgeries for Bolivian children

East Carolina University partnered with an international relief organization to provide life-altering heart surgeries on two young boys. 

The Children’s Heart Project brought 6-year-old Sebastian Viscarra and 15-year-old Luis Amarro from La Paz, Bolivia, to Greenville, N.C., for life-altering heart surgeries.

"They will pretty much be able to do what normal kids their age do — and live long, prosperous lives," said Dr. Charlie Sang, ECU pediatric cardiologist took care of the boys pre- and post-surgery, in a press release. 

The project is in partnership with the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center at ECU. They pair children from countries that lack medical access with willing North American medical centers to provide them with longer lives and healthier hearts. 

Before the surgeries, both children suffered from a common but deadly defect that, in the United States, is repaired before a child reaches the age of one.

N.C. Central recognized for history achievements

The N.C. Central University Department of History received national recognition Nov. 4.

The American Historical Association awarded N.C. Central with the 2014 Equity Award for recruiting and retaining underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

N.C. Central has produced more Ph.D’s in the History department than any other historically black college or university nationwide.

Jim Harper, the current chair of the department, said this pattern of excellence began with Helen Edmonds, a former chair from the 1950s who believed more African Americans should be historians. 

“We’ve kept the tradition alive,” he said.

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