Mr. President, I wish to honor the life of Miss Eve Carson, student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Miss Carson's life was tragically cut short on Wednesday morning.
I send my deepest condolences to Eve's family, the Chapel Hill community, and all those who came to know of her service and compassion for others.
Eve Marie Carson was born to Bob Carson and Teresa Bethke in Athens, Georgia, on November 19, 1985. She attended Clarke Central High School, where she served as student body president.
Eve enrolled at UNC in the fall of 2004 as a recipient of the prestigious Morehead Scholarship. Miss Carson left an indelible mark on the university and its community during her 3 1/2 years in college.
Eve excelled as a student at the University of North Carolina. She was a political science and biology major and hoped to attend medical school next year. Miss Carson was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and served as a North Carolina Fellow.
Eve was dedicated to helping those around her. She taught science at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School in Chapel Hill and tutored kids at Githens Middle School in Durham.
She served as cochair of Nourish International, a hunger-relief group, and an assistant coach in the Girls on the Run of the Triangle, a character-building program.
She studied abroad in Cuba and spent her summers helping others in Ecuador, Egypt, and Ghana. Her compassion and hard work seemed to know no bounds.
Mr. President, Eve Carson was a special woman who will be missed. Her passing leaves a void in a community who knew her as an intelligent, hard-working, compassionate leader who loved helping others.
Again, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Eve's family, friends, and all those who benefited from her compassion and service.
Madam Speaker, I received news today of a horrific event that has shocked and deeply saddened the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill community, which I represent.
The Chapel Hill police informed us today that UNC’s Student Body President, Eve Carson, had been shot to death a short distance from campus yesterday morning. This senseless act of violence ended the life of a promising young leader and left a community of family, friends and admirers mourning in disbelief. The police department is sparing no effort to find the person who committed this heinous act and to bring them to justice.
Eve was originally from Athens, Georgia. Since the time she arrived in Chapel Hill in 2004, she excelled in her college career. In addition to being elected student body president, she was a Morehead Scholar, a North Carolina Fellow, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and was double majoring in political science and biology.
Eve put a high priority on service to her community. During her college career, she mentored middle school students, taught science to elementary school students, and served as a running coach for young girls.
To Eve, service knew no borders. She spent her summers volunteering in Ecuador, Egypt and Ghana, and she co-chaired a student organization devoted to alleviating hunger around the world.
I recently met Eve at a reception hosted by UNC’s Chancellor James Moeser. My wife and I were impressed with this lovely young woman who – it was clear to see – had so much potential to make a difference in the world. She expressed to me her interest in working abroad after graduating in May, perhaps in Africa. At the time of her death, my office was working to help her find a way to realize her goal.
Unfortunately, Eve will not be able to realize that goal.
Our community is deeply sad at the loss of this special person. We also regret the loss for all those who would have been touched by Eve’s big heart in the future. This is truly a loss for us all.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Eve’s family and friends and with the UNC community as they gather on Polk Place this afternoon to remember Eve and to grieve together.
[The following statement was made at the beginning of Monday night's Town Council public hearing. The Council wore Tar Heel blue ribbons in memory of Eve Carson.]
We begin this evening's meeting by acknowledging the grief and pain that we are suffering at the loss of our colleague and friend, Eve Carson.
Eve was the president of Carolina's student body, which is how many of us came to know her. But the more we got to know her, the more we understood what an extraordinary person she was, and how broadly and deeply she touched the lives of people in Chapel Hill and beyond.
Eve's death represents for us a terrible, incomprehensible loss. She was a person who embodied what is beautiful in this world, and it was a joy to know her. Her having been taken from us rips from us our greatest hopes and our greatest dreams and our greatest aspirations for what the world might become someday.
We are diminished by the loss of Eve, and we know it.
We mourn this day, but we will carry on. We will soldier on. We have Eve's memory and spirit to help us carry on. But we will always remember Eve; we will always cherish Eve; and Eve will always be with us in Chapel Hill, to challenge us with her beauty and grace, her intelligence and charm, her compassion and idealism.
Eve's spirit will challenge us to be a place where youth can flourish and hope can endure and evil will be forever banished. And although we cannot replace Eve, we do know that she was a person who mattered in this world by the work she did, and she was destined to do great things. Rather than have those things remain undone, each of us can look to pick up a piece of the work that Eve did, and to do the work she would have done, the way she would have done it.
My colleagues on the council and I have been a part of the sorrow of our community, and we have reached out to Eve's family and to our colleagues on campus and beyond. We have extended to Chancellor Moeser our deepest sympathy to the campus community, and we have sought to comfort everyone in our town. Each of us has suffered, individually and collectively, a harm that is deep and piercing.
Yesterday, my wife Nancy and I attended Eve's memorial service at her hometown in Athens, Georgia. We had the opportunity to meet Eve's mother, Teresa, her father, Bob, and her brother, Andrew. We told them how much Chapel Hill valued Eve and how heartsick all of us are.
Eve's family was very gracious, and even under the burden of such surpassing grief thanked us, and all of you for your thoughts and your support.
Athens and Chapel Hill are now forever bound. We are bound by the thread of the life of a lovely young woman who touched us as she graced this world.
Please join me in a moment of silence to remember Eve; but I hope that this moment will resonate around the world, and that our moment will awaken this world with our cry of grief at this senseless death.
I would also like to call attention this evening to the assistance that is available to everyone in our community who is coping with this tragedy and who needs assistance. Our town has a crisis unit, housed in our police department, that is ready to help, and I ask you please to call them to seek that help if you need it. Contact information is available on the town website or by calling Town Hall.
In addition, the university has counseling available and people ready to assist members of the campus community during this difficult time.