This December marks the 10th year since the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 claimed the lives of 35 Syracuse University students returning home from abroad. As a result of that disaster, the University memorialized those who died by creating Remembrance Scholarships. Given annually to 35 outstanding students to support their senior year of study, the scholarships are the University's most prestigious academic honor.
The University is launching a $5 million fund-raising initiative to endow Remembrance Scholarships, ensuring their continuance in perpetuity. To collect a $500,000 challenge grant from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, the University must raise $3 million of that goal by June 30, 2000, the end of the Commitment to Learning campaign."
No one can take the place of those who were lost," says Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. "But through this scholarship, the names of these 35 students are preserved; and just as they were people of hope and service, so are the Remembrance Scholars we name each year. Higher education is rooted in the idea that we learn from the past to construct a better future. These scholarships are an outgrowth of that principle."
Remembrance Scholars represent the diverse strengths of Syracuse students. Not only must they be strong in academics, but they must have contributed to the University community and the greater Syracuse community, according to Judith O'Rourke '75, administrative specialist to the vice president for undergraduate studies and member of the Remembrance Scholarship Selection Committee."
The students we lostall of whom were in the Division of International Programs Abroadwere not just having fun overseas, and not just gaining academically," says O'Rourke. "They were learning to have an impact on the world."
As the University seeks to build the endowment fundwhich already contains money from the Dr. Scholl Foundation and various individualsit is looking for support from alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations committed to the ideals behind the scholarships.
The Place of Remembrance, shortly after its dedication in 1990. A memorial wall, listing the names of those lost in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103, semi-encloses the space in front of the Hall of Languages.
Susan Willner '82 didn't know any of the students who lost their livesbut she studied at the University's London Program during her junior year, and had returned from another trip to London on the same flight only a few days before the bombing. Willner has given annually to Remembrance Scholarships."
I know the feeling of why those students had gone abroad, what they had learned, the fun they had, and the feeling of waiting to share it with your family," says Willner. "I valued my time in that program. I want to honor those students and encourage more people to go."
To learn more about Remembrance Scholarships, contact Judith O'Rourke, 304 Tolley Administration Building, Syracuse, New York 13244-1100; 315-443-1899, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jon Denison, Senior Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, 100 Women's Building, 820 Comstock Ave., Syracuse, New York 13244-5040; 315-443-5466, email@example.com.