UNC Charlotte Builds Remembrance Memorial For Lives Lost In Deadly Shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Brook Muller, dean of UNC Charlotte, announced on Friday that a permanent memorial will be built to honor the lives lost in the deadly campus shooting that occurred just two years ago.
The concept for the memorial is a constellation garden that follows the orientation of the stars above the Kennedy Building, and replicates where the stars were located on that infamous day of April 30th, 2019.
UNC officials say the memorial will pay tribute to Riley Howard and Reed Parlier, who lost their lives in the shooting, and Rami Alramadhan, Sean DeHart, Emily Houpt and Drew Pescaro, who suffered physical injuries, as well as everyone who was effected by the trauma of that day.
Officials say the design for the memorial, submitted by TEN x TEN Landscape Archistecture and Urbanism, won out over a total of 36 submissions from locally and nationally know design teams.
“All the finalists’ designs were incredibly creative,” said Muller. “The presentation led by TEN X TEN Landscape Architecture and Urbanism, however, was moving and emotional. Every element is active, engaging and powerfully connected to the UNC Charlotte community. The depiction of the stars, portrayed by lights that are activated when people touch the memorial’s arched structure; the adjacent gathering spaces that feature plants imbued with deep symbolism represent emotions such as sorrow, divine sacrifice, strength, hope, love and peace; and stone benches etched with the names of Reed and Riley create an atmosphere of contemplation and reflection, with textured earthbound elements complementing those that are high-tech.”
Officials say the groundbreaking for the memorial is expected to take place in April of 2022, after TEN x TEN officials meet with University stakeholders including students, faculty, and staff to present their design concepts.
“In my time as chancellor, I have watched and learned from a community that has been united and fortified by the challenges it has endured,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “I fully endorse the commission’s recommendations. It is a beautiful memorial that unites Riley’s love of nature with Reed’s passion for technology — and captures the strength and resilience of our survivors and Niner Nation. It is a memorial that will stand the test of time.”