UNCW Graduates mourn loss of a fellow student

During a time of celebration and ceremony, graduates at UNCW are dealing with the murder of one of their own, Jessica Faulkner. A special guest book is set up in honor of Jessica in the University Union Building. Inside it, a reminder that Jessica and her family are on the minds of many.

Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Max Allen says, "We mourn the loss of any student in any situation, but we also have some graduates that are being honored tomorrow who have done a wonderful job and we want to keep that in mind as well."  But students say, under the circumstances, it's hard to forget what's happened this week.  Graduating Senior, Chapin Swarthout says, "I think it's in the back of everyone's mind, and we're trying not to think about it, but it just feels weird to be celebrating graduation when something like that has happened."

Lynn Breeden's daughter is graduating.  She says, "It just happened at a time that a lot of high spirits were going on. Students were getting excited going home. That kinda broke the spirit but that just kinda brought you back to reality where we gotta be concerned about the safety of our students." Other parents say they don't worry about safety at UNCW. They say what happened here, can happen anywhere.  Chapin's father, Ken Swarthout says, "Unfortunately, it can happen in a farm house. It can happen in middle America. It's something that unfortunately occurs. It occurs everyday. You have to move on and make the best of it." And that's exactly what UNCW graduates are trying to do.

Reported by Darcy Douglass