Dear UNC Charlotte Community:
As we begin 2020 and the second half of the academic year, I wanted to share an update on April 30 remembrance efforts and what you can expect in the weeks ahead.
After the tragedy on campus last April, I announced the formation of a Niner Nation Remembrance Commission to lead a comprehensive process to determine how to memorialize Reed Parlier and Riley Howell, how to best remember the tragedy that occurred on April 30, and to make a recommendation about the future utilization of Kennedy 236, the classroom where the shootings took place.
Chaired by Emily Zimmern, former executive director and president of the Levine Museum of the New South, and composed of 13 other members from the UNC Charlotte community and the greater Charlotte area, the Commission embarked on a comprehensive, six-week engagement process. The Commission met with the Howell and Parlier families, the injured students, and the students who were in the classroom but who were not physically injured, as well as conducted four campus-wide listening sessions for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members. The Commission also administered an online survey that garnered a remarkable response rate with more than 4,500 individuals participating and providing feedback.
After receiving the poignant feedback from the families, impacted students, and broader campus community, the Commission worked diligently to formulate the thoughtful recommendations which they have submitted to me. You can read the full report here. I invite you to provide any additional written feedback via email to email@example.com by Monday, Jan. 20. I will review this feedback, finalize my decisions by the end of the month and update you on next steps.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to all members of the Remembrance Commission for volunteering their time, and to those of you who have provided feedback in this process.
APRIL 30 DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
As we move toward the one-year anniversary of April 30, we are planning several events that will unite the University and Charlotte community together to honor and remember the lives lost and all those impacted on that tragic day in our history.
There are no classes scheduled that day and we are planning for a number of on-campus activities that will allow faculty, staff and students to come together and support each other on this day of remembrance. Since each person’s healing process is very personal, a student-led team plans to offer several options to our campus community to reflect and remember the lives affected on April 30. In addition, the University will host a Remembrance Concert for the broader Charlotte community on Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. in the Belk Theater at the Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts.
The intent of the Remembrance Concert is to honor Reed Parlier and Riley Howell, our four injured students, and all those affected by the events of that day. The concert will be hosted by CBS national correspondent Don Dahler ’91, and will feature the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra led by Music Director Christopher Warren-Green. The concert will also include live musical, dance, theatre, and artistic performances from UNC Charlotte students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as an original composition written by one of our faculty members, John Allemeier.
An email invitation will be sent next week with details on purchasing tickets to the concert, which promises to be a touching and thoughtful tribute. Tickets will be $25 for the public, $10 for students, and all proceeds will go toward the April 30 Remembrance Fund which will be used to support the work of the Remembrance Commission. We hope that you will be able to join us, but if you cannot, you can still donate to the April 30 Remembrance Fund.
Along with the Niner Nation Remembrance Commission, it is my great hope that we thoughtfully honor the victims and memorialize this tragedy in a way that supports our community’s healing process while also reaffirming the enduring spirit of Niner Nation.
Philip L. Dubois