I was in middle school when I first heard the name Eve Carson. A Tar Heel who had been primed from an early age to bleed Carolina blue, I was up to date on many Chapel Hill news stories most of my peers wouldn’t remember. March 5, 2008 might be one of them.
Glued to the television, my mother and I had many conversations about Carolina that week. The topics ranged from the significance of a student body president at a flagship university, what exactly “The Pit” is, the location of Friendly Lane in comparison to the landmarks I knew well from my childhood, to the meaning of murder, the death penalty and faith in times of despair. I’d never been so devastated over someone I didn’t know personally.
I always found Chapel Hill to be a welcoming place with an effervescent spirit and warm sky blue that seemed to cover every corner. It wasn’t until March of 2008, when my mother and I sat in the Smith Center for Eve’s memorial service, that I really understood what the Carolina community is.
Eve Marie Carson was what I like to call the whole package. A senior at UNC majoring in political science and biology, Eve seemed to be good at everything. A Morehead-Cain Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa, she excelled in the classroom because she loved to learn. As a student leader, everyone knew her name because of her commitment to service. Eve volunteered her time constantly to help others, whether it was through the voice of a campus organization or on her own in places like Ghana and Egypt. She used UNC as a vessel to instill a public good, a mission she intended to continue after college as a physician.
On March 5, 2008, that mission was cut short. We questioned how people could be so evil and why something so unbelievably horrendous could happen to someone so unbelievably wonderful.