A Letter From President Veronica Mora Flaspoehler ’08

Dear Carolina alumni,

The Carolina Family is dealing with the tragic loss of one of our own. We mourn the loss of Zijie Yan, a professor in UNC’s department of applied physical sciences and a promising researcher, who was shot and killed yesterday in his lab on campus. Our heartfelt condolences go out especially to Yan’s family and loved ones, as well as his friends, colleagues and students. We also want to support all Carolina students, who were still in the excitement of starting their second week of classes and are now trying to deal with an act of violence that has become all too common on university campuses nationwide.

In the coming days and weeks, I will keep you informed on what we at Carolina Alumni can do to build hope and support out of this senseless act. While classes were suspended today, I am sure the Carolina community, like it has in the past, will come together in love and comfort to work through the tragedy. The University already has plans for a moment of silence, with the tolling of the Bell Tower, at 1:02 p.m. on Wednesday. The University will hold a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in Polk Place.

At times like these, the term Carolina Family becomes evident and real. We are in mourning, but we will find our way ahead, together.


Veronica Mora Flaspoehler '08
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Veronica grew up in Lincoln County after moving as a young child from Costa Rica to N.C. and was a first-generation college student. She received a bachelor’s in economics and public policy from UNC, with a minor in entrepreneurship.