- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - 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 (https://bit.ly/2qjNNw9) 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.


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