Auriemma gives to Sandy Hook scholarship fund

By Carl Adamec

University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma and his wife Kathy have made an $80,000 lead gift to the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund that was created by UConn Monday to honor those who died last Friday in Newtown.

According to a press release, the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Connecticut will provide financial aid for any students who currently attend the elementary school, as well as siblings of those killed in the assault and dependents of teachers and other adults who also lost their lives, who are accepted to attend the University in the future.

“It is not easy to conceive of the most heartfelt and respectful way to respond in the wake of such a shattering event,” UConn president Susan Herbst said. “Yet Newtown is in our own state and many of our students and alumni have ties to those who are affected directly. The gift of higher education is a transformational one. We want the students of Sandy Hook to have the opportunity to study at a top public research university.”

Donations will be collected through the University of Connecticut Foundation to establish a fund in anticipation of supporting the Sandy Hook Elementary students enrolled in the K-4 grades today who will be of college age beginning in approximately 2021.

For siblings and dependents of those who died, funds will be immediately expendable to provide them with scholarship assistance at UConn as needed. All of the monies received will be spent solely for the fund’s purpose. If any funds remain once the needs of the groups above have been met, they will be used to benefit any future student from Newtown who attends UConn.

“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. “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.”

UConn alumni and members of the public seeking a way to pay tribute to the victims of the tragedy are invited to contribute to the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund.

More information is available at the University of Connecticut (www.uconn.edu) and UConn Foundation (www.foundation.uconn.edu) websites.