Harding students and staff gather to remember Lauren Bump

Lauren Bump, 24

(KATV) SEARCY - A Harding University grad student who returned home to Texas for the holidays was reportedly stabbed to death on New Year's Eve. Friday afternoon, her classmates and teachers gathered on campus to share some memories.

Lauren Michelle Bump was set to graduate as a Physical Assistant this year. Friends say she was excited to return to school and start the emergency medical rotation on Monday.

Harding is closed for the holiday break but Mike Murphy opened the doors. At 3 p.m., students, the University President and staff meet and shared memories to help with the grieving process.

Mike Murphy is the program director for the Physician's Assistant department. He says, "It is overwhelming sadness. It is a feeling of loss and really a feeling of empathy and sympathy for the family because whatever we feel is magnified 10 fold for the family."

The class is made up of 35 students, a tight-knit group in disbelief. On New Year's Eve passersby in San Antonio, Texas found 24 year old Lauren Bump dead on a paved trail in a public park. It is just three miles from her parent's home. The medical examiner reported she was stabbed several times.

Murphy prays with his students, "Father we want to thank you for bringing Lauren into our lives."

A tragic ending for the 4.0 student; working toward a career helping underprivileged kids. Murphy adds, "I really think she was going to be a good clinician. She was a very caring person. She gave of herself and she gave her time."

Friends say Lauren loved to jog and that is likely why she was in the park in the afternoon on New Year's Eve.

Mike Murphy says instead of summer breaks, Lauren went on medial mission trips and returned to Texas to work with underprivileged kids.

Lauren has two brothers. When one of them had heart surgery about 15 years ago and she spent a lot of time in the hospital that is when she decided to go into the medical field.

A local memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, January 12th at 2 p.m. in Searcy at Fellowship Bible Church. Some family members are considering attending.

An online fundraiser has been set up to help the family with funeral cost and a reward to help find the person or people responsible.

Related KATV story: Harding student murdered in San Antonio park