Auriemmas donate $80,000 to start scholarship in honor of Sandy Hook students

UConn announced Monday that it was created a memorial scholarship fund to honor those who died in the tragic Newtown school killings, and that women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma and his wife, Kathy, have made an $80,000 lead gift to the fund.

"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 state released by the university. "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 Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide financial aid for any students who currently attend the elementary school, as well as siblings of those killed and dependents of teachers and other adults who also lost their lives, who are accepted to attend UConn 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 in the same release. "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."

Herbst said 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.

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

- Day Staff Reports

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