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Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund Reaches $1 Million

Donations from around the world, led by BU trustees

Lu Lingzi, Boston University, Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund

Lu Lingzi (GRS’13) dreamed of becoming a financial analyst and had just passed the first part of the comprehensive exam for her master’s degree when she died last April. Photo courtesy of Menghan Hu (CAS’13, GRS’13)

It’s been just over six months since the Boston Marathon bombings that claimed the life of Lu Lingzi (GRS’13), a promising graduate student studying statistics. As news of her tragic death spread last spring, people from around the world, including alumni and residents of Lu’s hometown in China, reached out via social media to ask how they could help.

And so, just days after the attack, BU trustee Kenneth Feld (SMG’70), chair of the Campaign for BU, proposed establishing the Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund at a meeting of the campaign’s executive committee. The idea garnered instant support from fellow trustees, who immediately pledged $560,000.

“It was the fastest fundraising I’ve ever seen,” says Scott Nichols, senior vice president for development and alumni relations.

Now, thanks to support from more than 1,300 individuals across the globe, the scholarship fund named for Lu has reached its $1 million goal. “This tragedy reflected the best and the worst of humanity,” says Nichols. “You see this horrific, senseless terrorist act and then you see the response from total strangers worldwide.” Among the donors was a Scottish member of the Royal Army, who ran a half marathon in Afghanistan to raise money for the scholarship while dressed in a Batman suit in temperatures that hovered around 100 degrees.

Willis Wang, vice president and associate provost for global programs, who was the Lu family’s intermediary when they came to campus for their daughter’s memorial service, says the family is proud and appreciative of the scholarship. “The generosity shown here within such a short time is a testament to how strongly we all feel about the Boston Marathon bombings, which took Lingzi’s life,” Wang says. “While no amount of money can bring her back, giving to the scholarship can help in a small way to keep her wonderful memory alive and show that we all care.”

A dedicated student and an aspiring financial analyst, Lu had passed the first part of the comprehensive exam for her master’s degree shortly before she died. In honor of her hard work, the University awarded Lu a posthumous degree at the 2013 Commencement.

Lu’s family told Wang that she had always wanted to live in the United States. “The scholarship is a fitting way to honor someone who dreamed of studying in the United States by providing financial support to those who share Lingzi’s dreams and ambitions,” he says.

The Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund will endow two scholarships for graduate students, according to the Office of the Provost; one will be awarded annually beginning next fall. Each will provide an annual stipend and full tuition for up to two years.

International students enrolled in a full-time master’s degree program will be eligible, with preference given to those from China. The dean of each school or college may nominate one student for consideration each year. Selection will be based on the student’s academic achievements and potential for success. Nominations must be submitted to the associate provost for graduate affairs by March 1 of each year.

“As Boston University remembers Lu Lingzi, so, too, we champion our commitment to welcome gifted students from around the world to our campus community, where they can thrive and contribute to our tradition of excellence in research and scholarship,” wrote Jean Morrison, BU provost, in a recent memo to the Board of Trustees executive committee members. “We hope that the Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund helps in some measure to accomplish these goals.”

Those interested may contribute to the Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund here.

Leslie Friday, BU Today, Boston University
Leslie Friday

Follow Leslie Friday on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

3 Comments on Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund Reaches $1 Million

  • L on 10.29.2013 at 12:06 pm

    Glad to hear this. Lingzi shall be remembered. 一路走好。

  • Hung Ho on 10.29.2013 at 2:51 pm

    God bless her :)

  • Mark on 04.21.2014 at 12:19 am

    I continue to pray for her family and friends as they come back to recognize the Marathon anniversary. I hope and pray they find peace and comfort and that she will be very happy in heaven to know that she can stay in Boston, where she reportedly loved living.

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