Keeping Murrill’s memory alive

Published 3:27 pm Monday, September 20, 2010

(L-R) Seniors Faith Mote, Cara Speegle and Samantha Travis proudly display Porcia Murrill’s initials and her Bible verse on their senior class powder puff T-shirts.

At first, I wasn’t sure what they were chanting.

The Pelham High School senior class, awash in a sea of pink, was a little hard to understand at the pep rally.

The pink clarified their chant. They were wearing Pink for Porcia and they were shouting her name.

Porcia Murrill, a member of this senior class, lost her life just before her senior year began.

An accident in May ended Murrill’s life. And yet, her senior class is keeping Murrill’s memory alive.

Murrill’s favorite color was pink so the senior class spread the word to “wear pink for Porcia” to the year’s first pep rally via texts, word of mouth and senior teachers.

“Classes pick colors to wear at the pep rally almost every week. Wearing the same color is a way to unite. Some wear the color and others don’t. At the pep rally, I think every senior in the gym was wearing pink,” senior Anna Smith said.

For Porcia, even the burly boys were willing to wear pink. An intelligent, soft-spoken beauty who loved horses, her friends and her family, Murrill touched everyone who came to know her. And Murrill’s classmates are devoted to making Murrill and her passions a part of PHS Homecoming.

Every homecoming, the Student Government Association chooses a charity to gift with the proceeds of fundraisers. This year, Special Equestrians was the unanimous choice.

“We’ve never had a unanimous choice before,” said Keri Ross, math department chair and SGA adviser. “But this year the students chose to donate proceeds to Special Equestrians in honor of Porcia Murrill.”

Murrill was passionate about the work of Special Equestrians, completing her own community service with the group each year. An avid horseback rider herself, Murrill loved spending time “at the barn.”

Senior girls’ powder-puff T-shirts bear Murrill’s initials and a verse that SGA President Abby McMillan suggested.

“Jeremiah 29:11 was the verse printed in Murrill’s memorial service program so we decided to wear Porcia’s scripture,” McMillan said.

Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”

This group of seniors is embracing homecoming — the idea that we honor those who have gone ahead of us.

Senior Diana Padillo said, “Porcia brought this class together. Because we lost her, we’re all closer now.”

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at