COLLEGE PARK, Md. >> Bowie State University officials draped a graduation gown over a chair at commencement, creating a poignant tribute to a slain graduating senior that people are sharing online.
As of Friday, WTOP-FM reporter Neal Augenstein’s image of the gown has been retweeted more than 68,000 times and seen by millions.
Administrators say the tribute was a symbolic way to represent the loss of Richard Collins III at Tuesday’s ceremony. University spokeswoman Cassandra Robinson tells WTOP-FM that the tragedy already resonated with many around the world and this was a way to show the magnitude of the loss.
Collins, who was black, was visiting the University of Maryland last weekend when, police say, a white Maryland student fatally stabbed him. The case is being investigated as a possible hate crime.