CHARLOTTE, N.C. — UNC Charlotte is celebrating the newest class of graduates, this less than two weeks after a tragic shooting devastated the campus. Two students were killed, four injured.
One of the survivors shot in the attack was Emily Houpt. Saturday, she was the first student to walk across the stage.
Haupt got a standing ovation as she received her degree in international studies.
"Emily we are so glad you are here today to receive formal recognition of your hard work," one speaker said.
There were multiple powerful moments at the commencement Saturday as the community remembers and mourns, including a moment of silence to remember the two lives lost.
"We want to strike the right balance between remembrance and the significance of what all these graduates have accomplished," UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois said.
Ellis "Reed" Parlier and Riley Howell, the two students killed in the shooting, were honored at the ceremony. Their families were there to receive their sons' diplomas, as the two were recognized for their sacrifices.
Now, there are two permanent scholarships in memory of Reed and Riley. School officials hope the scholarships will help keep their spirit and legacies alive.
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