April 30, 2020
Dear UNC Charlotte Community,
Precisely one year ago on this day, just before 6 p.m., I was sitting on a flight to Indianapolis for a meeting of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. When we passed 10,000 feet, I logged onto our campus web page and saw the unthinkable words: “Run, Hide, Fight.” Many of you saw them, too.
We all know that the worst day in the history of UNC Charlotte was April 30, 2019. There are no words to capture the impact of the devastating losses suffered by the families and friends of Riley Howell and Reed Parlier, who lost their lives that day; the serious injuries experienced by Drew Pescaro, Emily Houpt, Rami Alramadhan, and Sean DeHart; the trauma experienced by dozens of students and the faculty member, Adam Johnson, who fled the Kennedy classroom; and the fear experienced by hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and others locked down on campus for hours while loved ones watched the horrifying news.
On that day, and in the days and weeks that followed, we also witnessed the tremendous outpouring of support from Charlotte, the greater region, the state of North Carolina, and from others across the country and the world. Even those who were not part of the Niner Nation family reached out and embraced us with support in so many ways: cards, letters, flowers, candles, and public demonstrations of compassion — which provided the strength our University community needed.
That community response was one of the motivating factors for us to organize a Day of Remembrance with campus reflection events and a concert performance at the Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts. In the reaffirming spirit of the arts, the Charlotte Symphony and the talented students, faculty, staff of UNC Charlotte’s performing and fine arts departments worked for months preparing for the remembrance event, which would have been held tonight. However, as you know, the continuing battle against the spread of COVID-19 resulted in its cancellation.
Unfortunately, under the circumstances, we are also not able to conduct any on-campus remembrance plans together, but that doesn’t mean that this day will have any less meaning.
Throughout the day, we invite you to engage on our UNC Charlotte social media channels to show your support and demonstrate the strength of Niner Nation. And, late this afternoon, we will host a virtual event, “United: A Remembrance Program,” to pay tribute and honor the lives lost and all those affected on April 30, 2019.
We will hear from Student Body President Chandler Crean and Student Body Vice President Adela Mann, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kevin Bailey and a special appearance from CBS News correspondent and alum, Don Dahler ’91. In addition, we will present an artistic video and musical work from faculty members Jeff Murphy and John Allemeier, and musical performances by “Water From Fire” featuring alumni John Woodall ’14 and Kevin Brawley ‘13. You can view more program details, including the participant biographies on the NinerNationRemembers site.
Please join us at 5:10 p.m. tonight for “United: A Remembrance Program,” which will be livestreamed and made available on our UNC Charlotte Facebook and Twitter channels. I hope this program, which ends at approximately 5:40 p.m., the time of last spring’s tragedy, supports all affected by the events and reaffirms the enduring spirit of Niner Nation.
Philip L. Dubois
Chancellor Philip L. Dubois
Philip L. Dubois is currently completing his fifteenth year as UNC Charlotte's fourth Chancellor. Dubois also served as president of the University of Wyoming from 1997-2005. Previous positions include service as UNC Charlotte's provost from 1991-1997, as well as faculty and administrative posts at UC Davis from 1976-1991.
Recognized locally and nationally for his exemplary leadership in higher education, Dubois has focused his efforts as Chancellor on planning for an expected enrollment of 35,000 students; completion of $1.2 billion of capital construction and renovation projects; implementation of an intercollegiate football program; expansion of light rail onto campus; and creating an inclusive campus climate.
Dubois and his wife, Lisa Lewis Dubois, will retire to Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia after June 30, 2020.
Kevin Bailey, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Kevin W. Bailey began his career in student affairs at UNC Charlotte in 1990 and returned to campus as vice chancellor for student affairs in 2017. In this role, he provides leadership for student success initiatives focused on the broad themes of health and wellbeing, on and off campus living partnerships, student advocacy and compliance, student facility management, program assessment and student engagement. Over 30 years in higher education, Bailey served as vice president for student affairs for the University of West Florida in Pensacola and associate vice president for student affairs for Tulane University.
Bailey obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University. He also holds a Master of Arts in Student Affairs in Higher Education and a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems. He is an active leader of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), a member of the Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Carolinas board of directors, and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Don Dahler ’91, CBS News Correspondent
A correspondent with CBS News since 2013, Don Dahler is an award-winning journalist, having covered numerous stories of national and international significance. He was the first network news correspondent to report live from the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, for which he earned a Peabody Award and DuPont Award. Previously, Dahler served as anchor and reporter for WCBS-TV in New York, and correspondent for ABC News and NBC News, where he was assigned to CNBC’s West Coast bureau. Dahler’s work has been recognized with two Emmy Awards.
He has written, produced and hosted documentaries, nature films and syndicated specials through his own production company, and is author of the murder mysteries, "A Tight Lie" and "Water Hazard," from St. Martin's Press. Dahler graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor's degree in History. He also earned an associate degree in Radio/Television/Film from San Antonio College.
Chandler Crean, President, Student Government Association
Chandler Crean is the 2019-20 president of UNC Charlotte's Student Government Association (SGA). From Fayetteville, N.C., he is a senior majoring in Business Administration Management with a concentration in Organizational Management. He served as SGA's chief of staff in 2017 and as vice president in 2018. He has been a Niner Guide since 2016, leading informative and enthusiastic campus tours for prospective students and parents. Crean has also served the University as a summer housing ambassador and as a social media ambassador, and he participated in UNC Charlotte's LeaderShape and Emerging Leaders programs in 2017. He is a brother of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, where he has served two terms as president in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Adela Mann, Vice President, Student Government Association
Adela Mann is the 2019-20 vice president of UNC Charlotte’s Student Government Association (SGA). From Chapel Hill, N.C., she is a senior majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. During her time at UNC Charlotte, she has also served as lieutenant chief justice for the judicial branch of the Student Government Association. She is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and served on the executive council as Panhellenic delegate. Upon graduating, Mann plans to study for the Law School Admission Test and apply to law school.
Water From Fire
Water From Fire is the brainchild of UNC Charlotte alumni John Woodall ’14 and Kevin Brawley ’13. The band is a collective of worship leaders and musicians from Charlotte, N.C., and toes the line between Christian and secular, touching on elements of faith within the setting of today's unpredictable world. Their live shows range from ear-splitting energy to pin-drop quiet, while remaining focused on honest vocal delivery with rich harmonies. Their songs are a diary of loss and love, pain and triumph, sacrifice and reward. Their self-titled debut album will drop in April 2020.