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UConn establishes scholarship to benefit Sandy Hook survivors

News Editor

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08

The University of Connecticut has created a Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor those who died in Friday’s elementary school shooting in Newtown.

The fund will cover college costs on need-based grounds for those who are accepted to the university who currently attend Sandy Hook Elementary School, are siblings of students who died, or are dependents of teachers and faculty who died.

UConn’s women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma and his wife, Kathy, proposed the idea for the scholarship to UConn President Susan Herbst. The Auriemmas made an $80,000 gift to the fund Monday to get the scholarship started.

“There was a lot of talk about what we could do,” said University Spokesperson, Stephanie Reitz. “It was his idea that crystallized it … He has teachers in the family, kids and grandkids. It’s an emotional thing for him. It hit close to home.”

Twelve hours after the scholarship was started, $30,000 has been raised by about 600 donors, not including the Auriemmas and their gift.

“Over this past difficult weekend, Kathy and I gave much consideration to what we as a family could do that would have some significance for the future,” Auriemma said in a press release. “Because UConn is so important to us, we decided to establish a scholarship and encourage other UConn alumni, friends and fans around the world to invest in the future of the Sandy Hook survivors.”

The university is not applying administrative costs to the scholarship, and all donations made will be solely used for the fund’s purpose. Any leftover funds will be use to benefit a future Newtown student. Applicants for the scholarship will be required to complete the FAFSA to qualify for financial aid.

A goal amount has not yet been set because university staff is still trying to gauge how much will be needed.

“We’re hoping to raise as much money as is needed to help those affected,” said Arthur Sorrentino, Director of Communications for The University of Connecticut Foundation. “We’re all about higher education, and we felt this was an appropriate response.”

Donations can be made by texting “uconn newtown” to 50555 to give $10.00, on the online giving page on the UConn Foundation website, or by mail at the UConn Foundation address. For more information, visit the UConn Foundation website.

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