In Memory Of
Lauren Dawn Townsend
January 17, 1981 - April 20, 1999
"Lauren was to be a senior class valedictorian at her graduation next month", her uncle, David Beck, told CNN. "Lauren, unfortunately, won`t have the opportunity to make the impact on the world that I`m sure she would have."
When shooting began in the library, "we understand that Lauren was hit nearly immediately", he said. Her family "takes some comfort in the hope that there was no suffering."
At the Columbine Graduating Ceremony on May 23, her family accepted her valedictorian honors and her diploma. Her mother, Dawn Anna, also accepted Lauren's blue and silver gown, with the gold collar worn only by honor graduates. Anna held the gown close, kissed it, then signed "I love you" to the crowd as the family walked off the stage to cheers.
Lauren was 18 years old, and was ment to graduate on May 23, 1999. She had a 4.0 grade point average.
Lauren was captain of girls` varsity volleyball team, coached by her mother. Other players said she was "consumed" by the sport. After the shooting, the number 8, the number Lauren had on her uniform, has been retired. She is the first student to have her number retired. Her uniform and travel bag is in her room at her mother's house.
Lauren recently received President Clinton's Award for Education Excellence. She planned to attend Colorado State University on an academic scholarship next year and become a wildlife biologist, like her oldest brother, Matt. She was a member of the National Honor Society, and loved Shakespeare. After school she volunteered in a local soup kitchen and she also worked at an animal shelter.
When Columbine High School English teacher Carol Samson thinks of Lauren, a quote from Shakespeare echoes in her mind.
LAUREN TOWNSEND PICTURES
Where to make donations to Lauren:Lauren Dawn Townsend Memorial Scholarship Fund
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