Chancellor Phillip Dubois spoke at the UNC Charlotte vigil on Wednesday, May 1 that united the campus community after a shooting on campus Tuesday, April 30 left two dead and four injured.
Below is a full transcript of Dubois’ speech.
“Thank you all for being here, for organizing our gathering this evening and for being the compassionate and caring Niner Nation that you are. I’m proud to be your chancellor. Let me acknowledge the presence of Congressman Adams, Governor Cooper, Mayor Lyles, Chancellor Jim Woodward and many other elected and state and local officials and community leaders from Charlotte. Thank you for being here.
Yesterday’s violence and the loss of Riley and Reed cuts to our core as a university community. We’re heartsick to believe that anyone would act with such complete disregard for human life, and we hope beyond hope for the full recovery of Drew, Sean, Emily and Rami. I can tell you that I was able to visit with Drew, Emily and Rami in the hospital today, surrounded by their family and friends. They are doing okay. As is Sean, I am told, who did not require hospitalization. The students that we lost, Riley and Reed, and those who were injured are all so young, like many of you. With dreams and aspirations and a purpose in their lives.
As parents ourselves, Lisa and I grieve for the senseless loss of young life and share in the anguish of their parents, their families and you, their friends. We can’t bring them back. But with your help, we will find a way to remember their presence as 49ers. These next days, weeks and months will test our collective strength, but as I said yesterday, we have no course but to hold up each other, to work through this together and to reaffirm our 49er purpose.
UNC Charlotte cannot be and will not be defined by this tragedy. We must be defined by how we respond to it. Our focus will be on those we lost, those who were hurt and the countless others who were spared by the quick action of our police officers and first responders. As the facts emerge about what actually happened in Kennedy 236, we may learn of additional acts of heroism by Riley and perhaps by others that saved more lives. With that, let’s stay Charlotte Strong. The days ahead will be difficult, but we will emerge from them. We will not emerge unchanged, but we will emerge united and stronger. Go Niners.”