Erin Nicole Peterson was born Aug. 17, 1988, in Fairfax, Va., to Celeste and Grafton Peterson. An only child, Erin was a dedicated “daddy’s girl” whose parents considered her their “angel – their dewdrop from heaven.”
Erin’s early learning took place at Virginia’s Appletree Private School and Merritt Academy.
She graduated in 2006 from Chantilly, Va.’s Westfield High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Erin also exhibited great skill on the basketball court. Wearing number 45, she served on the school’s squad for four years, three as a varsity player and, during her senior year, one as the team’s captain.
Last summer, upon the nomination of her high school principal, Erin worked as an intern with Rolls-Royce North America Inc. At the company’s invitation, she was to have returned as an intern this year.
Erin’s personality was a wonderful blend of warmth and magnetism anchored by a sound moral compass. She lived a life that was filled with joy and freely shared that joy with others. In return, Erin received the admiration and respect of her peers and the complete adoration of her family.
A certified homebody, Erin loved watching movies and staying in with her family. She absolutely adored her maternal great-grandmother. Erin had a profound respect for her parents and called them every night. A faithful and spiritual young woman, she was a firm believer in the power of prayer.
Erin entered Virginia Tech in fall 2006, majoring in international studies. She had recently been elected co-president of EMPOWER, an organization dedicated to building self-esteem and confidence in young minority girls.
Erin passed from this life on April 16, 2007. While her passing has left a gaping hole in the hearts of her family and friends, Erin’s spirit and her legacy of excellence, optimism, leadership, and love will live forever.
© 2009 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University