Friends speak of Gardner-Quinn’s life

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(Host) 21-year-old Michelle Gardner-Quinn was from Arlington Virginia. She transferred this fall to the University of Vermont for her senior year of college. She was pursuing a specially-designed major in environmental studies.

Friends say Gardner-Quinn was an avid snowboarder, and was thrilled to be in Vermont.

Earlier today, VPR’s Lynne McCrea spoke with friends of Michelle Gardner-Quinn, before the announcement that her body had been tentatively identified

(McCrea) For the past three days, Julia Martin has helped search the UVM campus, in an effort to trace the last steps of her friend, Michelle Gardner-Quinn.

(Martin) “And we’re looking for jewelry clothing.”

(McCrea) Julia first met Michelle in August, on a hiking trip for UVM transfer students. She says the two became close on that trip. Julia described Michelle as easy-going, but passionate when it came to her favorite cause.

(Martin) “She’s really the kind of person who has big ideas, is always calling saying we should go to this energy conservation rally, etc… and she’s really passionate about the environment and the things she does “

(McCrea) UVM student Tommy Lang has known Michelle since the 8th grade. He says it’s ironic that his friend has lived in places considered far more dangerous than Burlington Vermont.

(Lang) “She’s been in Costa Rica, Brazil, South Africa, in rural areas working with farmers on sustainable development, so yeah, she’s been in supposedly much more dangerous places, and Burlington is supposedly so safe and it’s just so shocking that this can happen.”

(McCrea) Tommy Lang has been involved in the search since his friend Michelle first disappeared

(Lang) “We put up 400-500 flyers all over campus all over Burlington. And since then I’ve been involved in many search efforts, and just trying to keep everybody thinking about her.

(McCrea) That spirit has been reflected throughout the University of Vermont community. At a forum, UVM President Dan Fogel spoke about Michelle Gardner Quinn, and the intense and genuine anguish’ felt by friends, family, and the entire community.

(Fogel) “We are a community that often gathers in times of celebration, and sometimes gather in times of crisis and uncertainty. This is such a time. And what we do is reflect, learn, etc. and support one another in this difficult time.”

(McCrea) There will be a campus gathering tonight at 6:30 on the main green at UVM, and the Ira Allen Chapel will be open all evening for meditation and sharing support.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Lynne McCrea

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