The world has lost its best hugger. The incomparable Morgan Dana Harrington was torn from us on October 17, 2009.

Morgan, age 20, was a shiny, loving, beautiful original. She was very much loved by her family, her friends, and her community, which has now expanded to include much of the world. We cherish the time we had with Morgan and are grateful for the breadth and variety of experiences we were able to share in her tragically abbreviated life.

Morgan was born on July 24, 1989 in Charlottesville, Va., and killed there in October 2009. She was an avid music fan, a champion of children’s rights, and planned a career in education.

To recognize some of Morgan’s passions we ask that, in lieu of flowers, gifts to honor Morgan’s memory be made to the Morgan Dana Harrington Memorial Scholarship at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine or to OMNI - Orphan Medical Network International, an organization that provides medical care in Africa. Scholarship donations may be mailed to: Virginia Tech, Attn: Gift Accounting, University Development (0336), Blacksburg, VA 24061, and OMNI donations to 6930 Empire Lane, Roanoke, VA 24018.

Our reconfigured family, Dan, Gil and Alex plan on honoring Morgan with a Mass on Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Roanoke, Va., followed by a reception to celebrate Morgan’s life at the Hotel Roanoke.

We are grief stricken by her death but also lifted by the knowledge that Morgan Dana Harrington was precious to so many and will not be forgotten. She mattered, to us all.

Those in the university community who may wish assistance or desire counseling support may contact:

Referrals to a campus cleric may be done through the Dean of Students Office at (540) 231-3787.

This announcement was submitted by the Harrington family.