October 12, 2010 — The life and memory of Morgan Dana Harrington will be honored with several events at the University of Virginia on Sunday, Oct. 17.
Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech education major from Roanoke, disappeared on Oct. 17, 2009, after leaving a concert at John Paul Jones Arena. Her remains were found in January on a farm about eight miles away. No arrest has been made in connection with her death.
A dedication ceremony for a plaque installed in her memory will take place at 2 p.m. on Copeley Bridge, the last place she was reported to have been seen alive. Her parents, Dr. Daniel P. Harrington and Gil Harrington, will speak at the ceremony, and Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., U.Va.'s executive vice president and provost, will unveil the plaque and deliver remarks. Morgan's brother, Alex Harrington, also will attend.
The family has strong University of Virginia ties. Dr. Harrington completed his residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center and now works at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, with dual appointments at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the U.Va. School of Medicine. Gil Harrington is a 1979 graduate of the University's School of Nursing, and Alex Harrington is a 2009 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences.
"The plaque will honor Morgan in a permanent way," said Patricia M. Lampkin, vice president and chief student affairs officer at U.Va., "We also hope it will remind our students of the potential for danger anywhere, at any time, and will encourage us all to take care of one another."
A screening of the film "A Gift for the Village" will follow at 3 p.m. in Newcomb Hall Theater. The documentary follows artist Jane Vance, who taught Morgan Harrington at Virginia Tech, on a trip to western Nepal to deliver a painting. Morgan Harrington appears briefly in the film, which is dedicated to her.
Vance and six friends traveled from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Nepal to deliver her painting about Tsampa, a Tibetan amchi-lama-doctor and mind-healer. She is the first woman and first Westerner to be commissioned to produce such a piece. The village welcomed the team with an elaborate festival celebrating the artist, the work and the man it honors.
A selection of Vance's colorful and intricately detailed paintings will be on display in the theater lobby, where a reception will follow the screening.