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As thousands of offers to help in some way pour in from alumni, friends, and others around the world, a fund has been established to endow a memorial scholarship in the name of Lu Lingzi, the BU graduate student who was one of three people killed in the Boston Marathon bomb attacks on April 15.
“It’s a fitting tribute and the right thing to do,” says Kenneth Feld (SMG’70), a BU trustee who proposed the memorial scholarship on April 17 at a meeting of the executive committee of the Campaign for BU, which he chairs. Before the meeting had adjourned, its seven members had committed $560,000 to the fund, which has since grown to $835,000, and has over 1,125 donors from 25 countries.
After learning of the death of Lu (GRS’13) and of the severe injuries to another BU graduate student, alumni, residents of Lu’s hometown in China, and others around the world have asked through Facebook, Twitter, and several US consulates in China what they could do to honor the students and memorialize the tragic events of the day, says Feld. Since Lu’s death was reported, there were more than 6,000 posts, “likes,” and shares expressing condolences and support on BU Alumni Association social media outlets. “But there was no central place to donate, and we asked ourselves, ‘What could we do to honor her memory, today and tomorrow?’” says Feld, who is chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. The answer was clear, he says. “A scholarship fund in her name will be there forever; people can contribute to something that is ongoing.” Within 10 minutes of Feld’s proposal, the committee had raised the initial funds.
Feld says the scholarship fund also honors the memory of a tragedy that has hit home for the BU community and will become, like September 11, 2001, a day that will never be forgotten. “There isn’t an individual at BU who didn’t have some connection to people who were there,” says Feld. And by honoring Lu, the scholarship also recognizes BU’s profound connection to the people of China, which is sending a growing number of students—this year there are 2,065—to the University. BU has another strong connection, says Feld, noting that, among many other ties, the US ambassador to China, Gary F. Locke (LAW’75), is an alumnus.
The scholarship fund will welcome all contributions, says Feld. “Every one has real meaning.”
Contribute to the Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund here.