Today marks the beginning of our Day of Remembrance events, signifying four years since the shooting on April 30, 2019, that took the lives of Reed Parlier and Riley Howell, injured Rami, Sean, Emily and Drew, traumatized everyone in Professor Adam Johnson’s class in Kennedy Building, 236, and left Niner Nation heartbroken. However, on our worst day, we saw the very best in one another and our Charlotte community. We are all Niners.
We remember and celebrate the lives of Reed Parlier and Riley Howell.
'Constellation Garden' Memorial
Today at 3 p.m., the University will dedicate the permanent April 30 memorial. Installed on the verdant plaza leading to Kennedy’s entrance is a “constellation garden,” designed to follow the orientation of the stars above the building four years ago on the night of April 30. The memorial’s arched framework – featuring touch-activated lights and surrounded by symbols-based plants that represent human emotions — will serve as a campus gathering place.
Memorial Digital Exhibit
The April 30 Memorial digital exhibit includes photographs, videos, letters, oral histories and other remembrances. The items featured on this site highlight the ways in which UNC Charlotte, the surrounding community and the nation grieved together in the days, weeks and months following the tragedy. They showcase the resilience of our campus community and the ways in which we will always remember those who were lost and forever changed that day.
Time to Reflect
Below are excerpts from reflections by Jesh Humphrey, vice chancellor for institutional integrity and general counsel, and Joel Avrin, professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Humphrey was one of the first staff members to respond to the Emergency Operations Center following the shooting, and Avrin was the president-elect of the faculty council on April 30, 2019.
Finding Safety to Grieve, to Heal and to Remember
“I am occasionally—and often unexpectedly—overwhelmed by my memories of April 30, 2019: the last words I said to my sons, my precious boys, as I departed our home for the Emergency Operations Center — you are safe; you are loved— the chaos of those initial hours, the devastation of learning we lost two students, the unjust and unwelcome invasion of evil and fear onto our beautiful campus. And when I am flooded with those memories and the sense of loss accompanying them, I remind myself of all the good things I found in the days that followed.” — Jesh Humphrey
A Turning Point in Our History
"On the evening of April 30, I was standing in the atrium of Fretwell, ready to leave for home, when I ran into a colleague of mine, who explained that there was an active shooter on campus and we needed to stay and lockdown. So, I returned to my office and remained there for several hours as did many of my colleagues and students across campus." — Joel Avrin
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