Mary Karen Read, a freshman majoring in interdisciplinary studies, was born on Jan. 30, 1988, at the U.S. Army hospital in Seoul, South Korea. She lived in Texas, California, Seoul, Tennessee, and Virginia Beach before settling into her new hometown of Annandale, Va., for middle and high school.
Mary was contemplating a career in elementary education. On campus, she was a member of Campus Crusade for Christ and had applied to be a Bible study leader. She was to have been notified of her acceptance on Monday, April 16. Her deep faith was evident in every aspect of her life.
Mary was also an avid clarinet player who was a member of the concert band.
Although she initially found the size of the Virginia Tech campus and student body to be daunting, Mary was working hard to assimilate, spending time on campus with friends from her hometown, her roommate, and a growing number of new acquaintances. Mary had recently started a job serving pizza and pasta in one of the campus dining halls and was considering joining a sorority.
Prior to Virginia Tech, Mary was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program at Annandale High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society, and the Tri-M Band Honor Society. She was president of the Annandale High School band, where she was a clarinet section leader. She was also a member of Annandale’s Homecoming Court, played lacrosse for two years, and participated in winter color guard for four years.
Mary loved spending time with her family and friends, especially on trips to the mountains, the beach, and the lake and was happiest when helping others, especially children. She was renowned for her beautiful, constant smile and sweet personality. More than anything, she relished her role of big sister to siblings Stephen (11), Patrick (4), Hannah (4), Brendan (2), and Colleen (10 months).
Mary is sadly missed by her father and stepmother, Pete and Cathy Read of Annandale; mother and stepfather, Yon Son Yi Zhang and Dr. Zhang of Palisades Park, N.J.; and all of her aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Hometown: Annandale, Virginia
Freshman, Interdisciplinary Studies
Student since fall 2006
Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, French/Department of Foreign Languages and Literature