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UNCC creates 2 scholarships to honor students who died in shooting

Lauren Westmoreland, Riley Howell's girlfriend

(CNN) — The University of North Carolina at Charlotte community came together days after a gunman opened fire on campus, killing two people and injuring four, to honor the victims of the shooting during its graduation ceremonies.

University Chancellor Phillip L. Dubois announced Friday that two scholarships were created to honor Riley Howell and Reed Parlier, the two students killed in the shooting. A couple who were “both initially teachers” funded the scholarships, Dubois said.

“This couple has fully funded two permanent UNC Charlotte scholarships totaling $1 million,” Dubois said. “Each scholarship will enable the spirit and legacy of these men to be present always on this campus.”

Howell and Parlier will receive degrees in memoriam. Graduation ceremonies took place Friday and will continue Saturday.

Friday’s ceremony also featured a moment of silence in honor of the slain students, Dubois said. The university’s website said the moment of silence was followed by the playing of “An American Elegy,” which was composed 20 years ago in memory of the Columbine High School victims.

The first of four injured victims, Emily Houpt, will walk across the stage Saturday afternoon. She will be at the ceremony with her family, but it is unknown if the families of Parlier or Howell will be present.

Fred Whitfield, president of the Charlotte Hornets, visited another victim, Drew Pescaro, Friday in the hospital, according to UNCC’s website.

“The University is pleased to see Drew is doing well. We continue to hold him, Emily, Rami (Al-Ramadhan) and Sean (DeHart) in our thoughts during their ongoing recovery,” the university said in a tweet.

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