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Wednesday, May 08, 2019


by Earl J Wilcox

Riley Howell, 21, took three bullets while tackling a gunman last week at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was one of two killed. In interviews with relatives and friends of Mr. Howell, not one person was surprised that he had acted decisively and with little regard for himself. —The New York Times, May 6, 2019. Above: Photographs of Riley Howell at his viewing ceremony on Saturday in Waynesville, N.C. Credit Swikar Patel for The New York Times.

Up the interstate about forty minutes
from our campus, Charlotte 49ers
weep as do their Eagle friends—
both schools connected by Carolina
geography, by our students taking
classes there, friends come for classes
here, some adjunct faculty teach at both
schools. Carolina cousins, uncles, aunts,
friends, sports competitors, youthful
world citizens making their way.
Today we grieve our mutual losses—
a semester ending too soon for some.

Earl J Wilcox is a retired Emeritus English Professor at Winthrop University (whose mascot is the Eagle), located about 25 miles south of Charlotte, NC.