JMU campus TV studio dedicated to Alison Parker
The on-campus television studio in Harrison Hall at James Madison University was dedicated on Friday to alumna Alison Parker.
The parents of the 2012 graduate and the former news director of WDBJ-TV — the Roanoke station where she was employed — were guests of a special newscast put together by students to mark the occasion.
"James Madison University provides all the tools that these young people will need to succeed in careers as a journalist," said Andy Parker, Alison's father. "I wanted to stress that point. I think that Allison would be right on board with that."
Those who knew Parker during her time as an undergraduate gave interviews during the show to talk about her ambitious spirit and dedication to her work.
Parker, along with photojournalist Adam Ward, were shot to death on live television on August 26, 2015, by a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ.
Since her death, Parker's parents have become outspoken about gun control advocacy. The two talked about the politically divisive subject during Friday's newscast.
"I stay angry about it all the time," said Parker's father. "At least now it is in the conversation. It is in the national conversation. Democrats aren't running away from it."
JMU President Jonathan Alger also gave a recorded message to honor Parker's memory and influence on the school.