Throngs of students and alumni dressed in black and gold piled into Bulldog Stadium at Bowie State University in Maryland to cheer on their home team during their homecoming game.
Spirits were high as the Bulldogs led the game 34-14 into the fourth quarter, a staunch contrast to the feelings of sadness felt across campus just days before.
On Thursday evening, while getting ready for a homecoming comedy show, freshman Dominique T. Frazier was stabbed and killed in her suite in Christa McAuliffe Residential Community, a dorm on campus.
The accused murderer is her roommate, Alexis Simpson.
Lauren White, a junior marketing major from Upper Marlboro, Md., is a resident of the hall and was on the second floor of McAuliffe, the floor Frazier lived on, when the incident occurred.
“I was shocked,” White said. “A friend sent me a text message warning me to be careful. I just couldn’t believe it.”
The following day a memorial was held on campus in honor of Frazier and a shrine of flowers began to form outside the residence hall.
At the game, however, the Bowie State crowd was blanketed with spirit and pride.
Groups of alumni hugged and remembered good times. Students waved pompons and pennants underneath black and gold umbrellas and danced to the sounds of the band.
Fasia Hardy, a sophomore communications major, came to the game because she felt as if she needed to show support for her school.
“A lot of people are saying bad things about our school,” Hardy said. “I felt like I had to come out and support.”
Victoria Harris, who graduated this past May, was glad to be back despite Thursday’s events.
“It feels good to be back,” Harris said. “The only thing we can do now is move forward. I’m happy to be here at the game cheering for the school I love.”
Bowie State went on to win the game against Livingstone College 41-14, shedding a ray of hope on an otherwise tragic weekend.