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Mary Baldwin University Hosts Gil Harrington Book Signing

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Morgan Harrington Murdered Dead and For Good Morgan Harrington Murdered Dead and For Good
Gil Harrington, author Gil Harrington, author
Jane Lillian Vance (left) and Gil Harrington (right) Jane Lillian Vance (left) and Gil Harrington (right)
Adele Cox, president of Mary Baldwin University's chapter of Help Save the Next Girl Adele Cox, president of Mary Baldwin University's chapter of Help Save the Next Girl
STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) -

Mary Baldwin University's chapter of Help Save the Next Girl hosted Morgan Harrington's mother, Gil, for a book signing Wednesday.

Morgan Harrington was a Virginia Tech student who was murdered by Jesse Matthew on October 17, 2009 after leaving a concert at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.

In a new book, “Morgan Harrington Murdered Dead and For Good,” Gil Harrington shares the pain she suffered in losing her daughter. The book is co-authored by Morgan’s art teacher, Jane Lillian Vance.

“Although she was torn from us when she was 20 years old has eventuated in so, so many positive things,” Harrington said.

Harrington is sharing Morgan’s story with an audience her daughter’s age, including students at Mary Baldwin University.

“It’s really hitting closer to home than people think it is and just having her here is helping educate the student body that this really did happen and this was down the road from us,” said Adele Cox, president of Mary Baldwin’s chapter of Help Save the Next Girl. 

Morgan's voice speaks to readers in the book.

“There are letters and journal entries and poems and things that she wrote as well,” Harrington said.

It’s not a true crime story, but the journey of grief. Harrington says she started writing the book in response to a need.

“How one can transcend loss and come out on the other side with a reasonable degree of wholeness,” Harrington explained. “I looked to literature and books as resources to help me.  There’s not much on the shelf for grief that resonated with me.”

Harrington understands few parents will experience the anguish of a murdered child.

“Everyone is going to have at least one up close and personal experience with death and they're looking for strong, correct, authentic tools to manage those emotions and those problems.  I think our book delivers,” Harrington said.

Harrington has created Help Save the Next Girl with more than 50 chapters across the nation. 

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