Not quite a year has passed since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In that time, UConn alumni and donors from as far away as Nepal have come forward to offer more than $1.1 million of support to the University’s Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund – and already this fall semester, that funding has made it possible to award scholarships worth a total of $18,075 to two incoming UConn students.
The fund, which was established by the University in the days following the tragedy that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook, pledged to support the college costs of siblings of those killed in the assault and the dependents of the adults who also lost their lives, as well as students currently enrolled at the elementary school who are accepted to the University.
“The overwhelming support shown by the UConn community and the entire nation has been so heartening,” says Joshua Newton, president and CEO of the University of Connecticut Foundation. “It is also a clear testament to the power of philanthropy to change lives and provide both a better future and a sense of hope out of a senseless tragedy.”
To date, more than 6,000 donations have been made to the Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund, with contributions arriving not only in the form of cash and corporate support, but also via text message and gifts made online.
Among the first to make a gift to the fund were UConn’s Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma and his wife, Kathy, who contributed $80,000. Other donations received over the past year include the Bowl Championship Series’ gift of $80,120, which represented $1 for every fan in attendance at the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship game.
Contributions to the University’s Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made online or via text message (to give via text, send a text to 50555 with the words: “uconn [name and grad year(s), if UConn alumni] newtown”). For more information, visit the UConn Foundation website.