Child accepts slainmother’s diploma

Michelle Kibiger

Bittersweet celebration replaced sadness for the family of slain University student Kami Talley at the College of Liberal Arts graduation ceremony Sunday.
CLA Interim Dean Robert Holt gave Talley’s diploma in family education to her 4-year-old daughter, Ambreen. Ambreen accepted the award with her grandmother Deborah Wood and grandfather Matt Talley.
Kami Talley was murdered Valentine’s Day at her workplace in northeast Minneapolis. She was 22 and would have graduated at the ceremony Sunday.
Talley had planned to go to graduate school and eventually open her own family clinic to serve low-income families and children. Her family expressed pride that Talley’s accomplishments are coming to fruition through Ambreen.
“This will mean so much to Ambreen when she’s older,” Wood said. “We’re just so proud of Kami.”
Talley was on the dean’s lists of the Martin Luther King Program and CLA in the fall of 1995. Holt said sorrow fell over the University community after Talley’s death in February.
Before she died, Talley identified Ambreen’s father, Louis Cardona Buggs, as the man who shot her. Buggs spent time in the Hennepin County workhouse last fall for beating Talley so severely that she was hospitalized. The murder prompted rallies and discussions about domestic abuse.
Buggs was arrested in Virginia six weeks ago after eluding law enforcement officials for nearly two months. Misplaced court documents have delayed Buggs’ extradition to Minnesota until some time in July.
Holt expressed hope as he presented the degree to Ambreen. “I hope to see you on this stage again in 18 years,” he said, “accepting a degree of your own.”