Mark D. Colone oral history interview, 2021 December 15
Mark Colone, Senior Director of Development for Advancement at UNC Charlotte, discusses his experiences related to the April 30th 2019 campus shooting and its aftermath. [All times approximate]. [00:00] Introductions and description of circumstances leading to Mr. Colone's decision to attend UNC Charlotte as a student in 1979, his involvement with athletics, and his educational path. [05:35] Discussion of Mr. Colone's first professional position as Assistant of Sports Information at UNC Charlotte, his subsequent promotion to Sports Information Director after only two years, and what the position involved. He describes starting his own sports marketing company in 1998 before returning to UNC Charlotte in 2015. [13:20] Discussion of Mr. Colone's personal experience on April 30th 2019, the outpouring of support he received from friends and colleagues across the country, his admiration for leadership on campus, and his sense of a loss of innocence for the UNC Charlotte community. [18:20] Mr. Clone reflects on the significant change on campus immediately following the shooting. He lists the extraordinary connections that he discovered he had to victims Reed Parlier, Emily Houpt, and Drew Pescaro. He notes the bravery of the ROTC student who assisted campus police at the scene of the shooting. [22:00] He describes the immediate need to sensitively manage end of semester events, commencement in particular. He describes the circumstances that led to his close involvement with victims Reed and Riley's families on behalf of the University. He notes the personalities of Reed and Riley and the tragedy of lost young lives. [35:25] Mr. Colone acknowledges the leadership of Chancellor Dubois and Chief Baker following the shooting, the crisis of mental health in the United States, and the availability of guns. [38:15] He reflects on the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 on mourning and memorializing victims of the shooting. He describes the intimate remembrance ceremony of 2021 and praises the process for planning a memorial structure. [42:50] He concludes the interview with his thoughts about the Kennedy building and the resiliency of students despite the challenges of tragedy and disease.