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MU rallies around friend in mourning

Sep. 13, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Marshall University community not only paused Tuesday to remember the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, but they also rallied around a student whose parents and sister were killed Sept. 3.

Elisabeth Spencer, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, was on campus the day that police say her younger brother shot their parents and younger sister.

Tuesday evening, a luminary and memorial service was held to honor Spencer's family and to show her that there is support at her home away from home.

"Everyone wants to be supportive," said Student Body President Ray Harrell. "It says about a lot about who we are as a university."

The event was sponsored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life along with the Student Government Association. At least 400 people attended, including Spencer, as Harrell said all 400 red balloons that were released at the close of the ceremony were given out.

Tuesday also would have been the 10th birthday of Spencer's sister who was killed. In addition to the brother who is being held by authorities, Spencer has another brother who reportedly is a senior in high school in Doddridge County, where the family lived.

Alpha Chi Omega is selling red bracelets, with proceeds going to a fund set up for the Spencer and her brother. The cost is $3. Donations also can be made directly by writing a check to the Spencer Family Fund and mailing it to Cornerstone Bank, 150 East Main St., Salem, WV 26426.