Slain University of Utah student honored during commencement

May 3, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A University of Utah commencement ceremony honored a student shot to death on campus by her ex-boyfriend last year.

Some of the nearly 8,500 graduates participated in the ceremony Thursday night wore pins to remember Lauren McCluskey, Salt Lake City news station KUTV reported .

McCluskey was fatally shot on Oct. 22 by 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, who later killed himself, authorities said. It came weeks after the 21-year-old track athlete broke off her monthlong relationship with Rowland after learning he had lied about his name, age and criminal history.

McCluskey was scheduled to graduate this week with a degree in humanities.

Lauren’s mother, Jill McCluskey, said the family had been making reservations a year ago to be in Utah for the occasion. She says that in the days since Lauren’s death and those leading up to graduation, several students have sent messages, texts and letters, which she says bring some comfort to her family.

Salt Lake City company O.C. Tanner had pins made and donated them to student-athletes. The company also made special ones for McCluskey’s parents.


Information from: KUTV-TV, http://www.kutv.com/