As police in North Carolina work to identify a man who used Eve Carson’s ATM card on the night she was shot, those who knew the enormously talented young woman are on a different quest — to make sure her spirit lives on.
One of those working to make sure Carson is remembered is the principal at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Georgia, where Carson was the valedictorian as well as the president of both the student body and the National Honor Society.
On Monday, Maxine Easom told TODAY’s Ann Curry about a candlelight vigil held at the high school last Friday to remember Carson, who was murdered last Wednesday, just two months before she was to graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carson was the school’s student body president.
“They said if Eve is going to live on, the way that happens is each of us has to take a part of her and have it live on through us,” Easom said of those at the service. “I believe that is what Eve would want to happen. I think those young people were very committed to making that happen — as well as the adults. There were teachers there, there were neighbors there, there were friends of the family, and I think every one of them in that place were determined that they were not going to let Eve’s spirit die.”
Easom repeated what everyone who knew Carson has said — that she was a young woman whose possibilities were virtually limitless.
“I think Eve could have done anything. I’ve heard people say that over these last few days, that Eve was a Renaissance woman, and she was,” she told Curry. “She was musically talented. She was athletic. She did everything.”
A pre-med major who spent her summers traveling and helping others in far-flung parts of the world, she had been trying to decide whether to go to medical school on graduating or to go in another direction with her life.
Carson had reached out to others in making her decision, which was how she went about choosing a college four years ago. Easom said that the young woman had scholarship offers from many colleges, including elite, Ivy League institutions. But Carson determined that she wanted to go to a public university because she wanted to be exposed to as much diversity as possible.
“I remember sitting in my office with her as she made those decisions and hearing her talk about her,” Easom said. “She said, ‘I want to go to a public institution.’ I think Eve knew that becoming aware of needs and finding multiple opportunities to help was the way she could help the world.”
Easom said Carson was raised to be that way. “Our school is very diverse,” she said. “Her family taught that, and Eve believed that to the core.”
Easom also talked about how joyfully Carson embraced life and her infectious enthusiasm for everything she encountered.
“I think the most wonderful thing about her was her passion for life,” she said. “She loved everything she ever did, and she made you love it. Just the simplest things, Eve was excited about them, and she made you excited about them.”