CORPUS CHRISTI – In keeping with the University’s goal of proactive safety, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted Girls Night Out on Tuesday, Sept. 1 in the University Center. The event, a Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health initiative, educates women about personal and travel safety. More than 500 Islander students participated.
Beth Holloway, Natalee Holloway’s mother, and Dr. Mary Tripp, a skin cancer expert from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, were the night’s guest speakers. Gloria Hicks, National Advisory Board member of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, Board Member of the M.D. Anderson Board of Visitors, Board Member of TAMU-CC Development Board and Partner of Ed Hicks Family of Dealerships, gave the welcome address.
Holloway has advocated tirelessly for the safety of women and girls since the highly publicized disappearance of her daughter in 2005 on her senior trip to Aruba. A New York Times bestselling author, Holloway delivered a message of hope to the Island University.
“Girls Night Out isn’t just a one-night event to have a personal safety discussion,” said Holloway. “Safety is a lifestyle.”
At the event, Holloway talked about her daughter’s bright future, the heinous crime that took her life, and the family’s tireless search for her body. She told Islander students that even though Natalee disappeared 10 years ago, a crime like this could happen to anyone, anytime.
“Most of the young adults that I talk to now were in elementary school when Natalee disappeared,” said Holloway. “That’s why I share her story. I want them to remember Natalee. I want them to remember her story and use it to open up lines of communication with their friends and parents.”
Holloway said that speaking to students around the country about her daughter’s disappearance has helped her heal from this tragedy.“Because of where I am today, speaking about Natalee is rewarding and fulfilling,” said Holloway. “It’s also inspirational to connect with people and have an impact on the lives of young men and women.”