URI Alumni Association establishes memorial scholarship
to recognize members of the URI family who died Sept. 11
KINGSTON, R.I. -- November 1, 2001 -- When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, they also struck a nerve in University of Rhode Island alumni who wanted to do something to show their support to families who lost loved ones.
The terrorist acts killed three URI alumni: Christine Barbuto, 32, class of 90, a Brookline, Mass. resident who was a buyer for TJX Companies. She was a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11; Christian L. DeSimone, 23, class of 2000, a Ringwood, N.J. resident, who was a forensic accountant for Marsh/Caps Group on the 100th floor of Tower One at the World Trade Center; and Frank Schott of Massapequa Park, New York, class of 1983, who was assistant vice president for Marsh McLennan on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center.
This Saturday, November 3, the deceased alumni will be remembered before the Rhode Island-Maine football game at 11:30 a.m. The Barbuto and DeSimone families will be in attendance. (DeSimone earned a letter as a member of the URI football team.)
Anxious to do something, some URI alumni picked up their phones and called their alma mater, asking Robert Beagle, vice president for University Advancement, what could be done.
After discussing various options, Beagle and the URI Alumni Association decided to establish a permanent scholarship fund. The intent of the scholarship is to recognize members of the URI family (alumni or parents of enrolled students) who died as a result of the events on September 11. While it may provide, on occasion, scholarship assistance to deserving students directly connected to victims, aiding the families of victims is not the primary purpose of the scholarship endowment.
The Alumni Association Memorial Scholarship, designed to assist the University with recruitment and retention of students, will be awarded annually. Each scholarship recipient will be told of the scholarship significance.
URI students currently enrolled in John Pantalones URI 101 course are fundraising for the scholarship. "We talked about what kind of community service we could do," said Pantalone, a lecturer in URIs Journalism Department, who also teaches the 101 course which is designed for freshmen and has a community service component supported by the Feinstein Enriching America Program.
"The students unanimously voted to help raise money for the scholarship, setting their goal at $5,000."
Pantalone said the students are putting collection containers throughout the university and residence halls and will be soliciting funds from a booth in the Memorial Union twice a week.
Anyone who would like to contribute to the memorial scholarship should send a check made out to the URI Alumni Association Memorial Scholarship, to P.O. Box 1820, Kingston, R.I. 02881-0499.
For Information: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116