Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER: Renaming the Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund

In the past year and a half, 12 BU students have died.

Monday, April 9, 2012. A graduate student was found dead at her home in an apparent suicide.

Friday, April 20, 2012. A graduate student was fatally shot near his Allston apartment.

Saturday, May 12, 2012. Three undergraduate students studying abroad were killed in a van crash in New Zealand.

Thursday, July 19, 2012. A doctoral candidate died in Turkey last summer in an apparent fall near the site of the archeological project where he was working.

Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. An undergraduate student died riding his bicycle after a collision with an MBTA bus.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. A graduate student died riding his bicycle after a collision with a tractor-trailer.

Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. An undergraduate student on a leave of absence died due to complications from a heart condition.

Saturday, March 2, 2013. An undergraduate student died hours after he was found unconscious at an off-campus fraternity party.

Monday, April 15, 2013. A graduate student died in the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Saturday, April 28, 2013. An undergraduate student died in a fire at her Allston home.

When any young life so full of promise is cut short, it is inarguably a tragedy. But now, 18 months since the first death on this list, how many names do you remember? If you’re anything like me, it is one: Lu Lingzi, the Boston University graduate student who died in the Boston Marathon bombings.

As with other BU students who have passed, a memorial service was held for Ms. Lu, and as a community, we mourned for her untimely death.

But because of how she died, her name is etched into our memories. Indeed, the feelings of grief were so palpable that a scholarship fund was established in her name and immediately endowed with $560,000 by seven BU trustees. The Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund has now grown to $716,000.

I love the idea of enabling others to pursue their academic dreams in honor of a student whose life ended while pursuing her own academic goals. It is truly a poetic tribute.

But why does only Ms. Lu receive that recognition?

Should we not pay tribute to the unnamed graduate student, Kanagala Seshadri Rao, Austin Brashears, Daniela Lekhno, Roch Jauberty, Chad DiGregorio, Chung-Wei “Victor” Yang, Christopher Weigl, Sammy Habib, Anthony Barksdale II and Binland Lee — the 11 other BU students that have died in the past year and a half?

Should we not pay tribute to all those BU students who have passed far too early?

In her tragic death, Ms. Lu has inspired an incredible outpouring of generosity and support. But no life is more valuable than another. So in that spirit, I propose renaming The Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund to The Boston University Student Memorial Scholarship Fund.

And underneath that title, have a list of all the students who have died while at BU, so that we may continue to remember all those lives that have ended far too soon.

Sameer Farooq in a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at sfarooq@bu.edu.

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One Comment

  1. The scholarship should not be renamed. Perhaps a memorial should be created to honor the other students. Removing Lu Lingzi’s name on the principle of “fairness” would be extremely disrespectful.