JMU Remembers Alison Parker at Vigil

Published: Sep. 2, 2015 at 5:22 PM EDT
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On Wednesday morning, James Madison University held a vigil at the Quad to honor Alison Parker.

Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were murdered last week at 6:45 a.m., which is when the vigil began with a moment of silence at that time.

Parker was both a JMU graduate and former WHSV intern.

Hundreds of people gathered to remember Parker.

"It was just really nice to see that many people here. People who knew her, but also people who didn't know her and were just coming out to support everyone," said Brad Jenkins, the general manager of The Breeze, the student newspaper that Parker worked for while at JMU.

One reason she will be remembered is for her personality.

"She was one of the most bright and happy people. It didn't matter if she knew you well. It didn't matter if she knew you on a surface level. She was super kind. She was always welcoming to everybody," said Allison Notarantonio a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority, of which Parker was a member.

JMU President John Alger, who met Parker before he even started working at the university, shared this message with the community, "We share together. We learn together. We grieve together as a family this morning. She cared very deeply about this university and the people in it. And that is a great exemplar of who we are and what we do as a university family."

Dr. Roger Soenksen, who teaches in JMU's School of Media Arts & Design, recalled his initial reaction when he heard the news last week, "To be very honest with you, I just sat. I didn't know. I couldn't come up with words. I couldn't keep myself composed. In all my years of higher education I've seen a lot of different things. I've never been hit this hard for such a prolonged period of time by the news of Alison's death."

A memorial fund has been set up in Parker's honor and has already received more than $70,000.