Memorial scholarship honors son & helps returning student

at URI’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — November 21, 2001 – A bereaved mother, a loan processor who is trying to better herself with a college education, and philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein are all connected by a memorial scholarship.

Feinstein, a Cranston resident and generous donor to the University of Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education in Providence, established a memorial scholarship program at the college that gives Rhode Island residents who have lost a loved one prematurely, an opportunity to name one of those memorial scholarships.

Reba Gould of Hopkinton, a senior word processing typist in URI’s School of Education lost her 28-year-old son, Russell Jay Gould, in a tragic car accident in 1999. This summer, Gould requested that one of the scholarships be named after her son.

This fall, Shirley Brown of Warwick, who has worked the past eight years at Domestic Bank in Cranston, decided to go back to school and signed up for a communications course at the college. She transferred 50 credits she had earned from Johnson and Wales University. “I don’t have a business type of head,” she explains. “I have an arts type of one.”

Paying for an education hasn’t been easy. Brown, 32, has school loans she has to pay. Her family can’t help. Her father died when she was three months old, her mother passed away in 1994. The brother she shares a house with is legally blind. “I’m doing okay. I like to look at what I have rather than what I don’t have,” Brown says with a smile.

Brown was surprised she was awarded the scholarship. “It’s going to help. It’s less money I have to borrow. It’s kind of special.” When told it was a memorial scholarship, Brown fell silent. “I’m honored, really,” she said.

Gould recalls that her son, Russell, was bright, sweet, and sensitive to everyone’s needs. “He was always laughing and made everyone’s day.” A computer and math whiz, he attended URI before joining Unicom as a computer technician. His mother recalls her son was always fixing everyone’s computer. “He had so many places to go,” she says.

Besides his mother and father, Roger A. Gould Jr., and two sisters, Russell Gould left a young widow and three children ages 7, 6, and 4. He also left part of himself. “When he saw the organ donor emblem on my driver’s license, Russell said if anything ever happened to him, he wanted his organs donated to help save lives,” his mother says, noting that her son’s heart, kidneys, and liver were donated.

The new scholarship at URI is another way to honor Russell’s life. “We are all so thrilled,” his mother says. “The family sincerely wants to thank Mr. Feinstein for giving us this opportunity.”

For Information: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116