Friendship and fishing leads to memorial scholarship at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. — October 13, 1999 — Two men ran a successful business together and shared a love of fishing. They counted on each other during the pressures of the workday and shared in the excitement of the big catch. Now one of the partners, inspired by that bond with his late pal, has established a scholarship at the University of Rhode Island in his memory to help URI students and future fishermen. Helmut Augenstein of Warwick and the late Alexander Daunis of Barrington founded and operated the Jewel Case Corp. in Providence, a manufacturer of metal display boxes for jewelry, for 25 years. “The company did well and we got along well,” says Augenstein who has always loved to fish. He introduced Daunis to the rod and reel and soon his business partner became hooked. Most Thursdays the two would go deep sea fishing, combining business with pleasure by taking clients and friends along. When Daunis died in 1998, Augenstein wanted to do something to memorialize his long-time friend but he wasn’t sure what. Finally, the retired businessman hit upon an idea-an endowed scholarship fund at the University of Rhode Island for students enrolled in URI’s fisheries and aquaculture technology program. Augenstein says he chose URI because of its fine reputation in the marine sciences and because his son Helmut T. is a URI alumnus. Income from the endowment will provide annual scholarships with preference to be given to bright (a 3.0 grade point average or above) junior and seniors from Maine to North Carolina. “This scholarship is a great incentive and a reward for students who display academic excellence,” comments Joe Dealteris who heads the fisheries program at URI. “Fisheries management is regional as fish are migratory. It’s important to be able to offer scholarships to students from the northeast region.” Dealteris says the goal of URI’s program is to help develop sustainable fisheries, to avoid boom and bust years. “The key is better management,” says the URI scientist whose students graduate from the program and often get jobs on the state or federal level in fisheries management. “They are collecting data, analyzing samples, studying behavior, or helping to rebuild stocks.” Augenstein, the retired businessman, is pleased the Alexander D. Daunis Memorial Scholarship fund will help future fishermen catch some action. “This is the direction I know he would have liked,” says Augenstein of his late friend. -xxx- For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116