Union to honor deaths of two students with sculpture

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JACKSON, Tenn. — Union University plans a tribute in honor of a student found shot to death on campus one year ago Thursday. Authorities charged her fiance with murder. Caution tape surrounds a hill on the Union University campus. A sculpture eventually will fill the space and serve as a tribute to two students. “Great art allows us to move forward, to settle issues in our heart and mind, and to be constructive in our thought process and thinking,” said Lee Benson, chairman of Union University’s art department. Police said Olivia Greenlee, 21, was found shot to death Feb. 12, 2014, in a parking lot on campus. Senior Leighton Williams died in a car crash just months before. Benson came up with the idea of a sculpture, a tribute to these women, that allows people a chance to reflect. “A space where everyone can enjoy resting and contemplating, meditating, just enjoying on campus,” he said. Benson said the piece, called “Oasis,” will include a circular stone wall, a working well where people can pump water to drink, a tree and two boulders representing Greenlee and Williams. “I think the piece itself is a piece about hope and healing, and I hope that people can take it for that, not as just any other sculpture piece, but as something that can be meaningful for them,” art student Zach Lancaster said. “I think this will be one part of the total healing of this in the Union community and at large as well,” Benson said. Benson expects to finish the project by early summer. Greenlee‘s fiance, Charles Pittman, is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. His trial is set for May.

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