A-B Tech awards posthumous degree to former student Riley Howell

Riley Howelll
May 13, 2019

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — It's been almost a week since family and friends laid Riley Howell to rest.

He's the young Haywood County man who stopped a shooter at UNC Charlotte two weeks ago.

Howell attended A-B Tech from 2016-2018 before transferring to UNC Charlotte last year. Howell earned enough credits and had the grades necessary to receive an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in General Occupational Technology.

On Saturday, the community college honored him with a posthumous degree.

His aunt and cousin accepted the diploma. They said Riley was passionate about his education, and spoke highly about his time at A-B Tech.

A-B Tech President Dennis King, who is retiring in January 2020, presided over the ceremony and delivered the keynote address.

"The entire A-B Tech family was extremely saddened by the loss of Riley Howell in the shooting at UNC Charlotte on April 30, but all who knew him were not surprised that he was a hero in this tragedy," King said in a press release. "We are grateful that we can honor him at our Commencement with his degree."

A-B Tech students earned 1,473 degrees, diplomas, and certificates during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Read the full story: A-B Tech awards posthumous degree to former student Riley Howell on the WLOS website.


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