Sunday, December 23, 2012

ECSU: Victoria Leigh Soto Memorial Scholarship Fund

By now I am sure that you are all aware that Eastern alum Victoria Soto '08 lost her life protecting her children in Sandy Hook Elementary School along with 25 other innocent victims.  

Over the past week, we have struggled as a society to understand how such an unthinkable act could happen and have found solace in the heroic acts of the first responders and those that gave their lives to protect the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
On Eastern's campus there is an inspiring sense of pride in Vicki's heroic actions that morning, and we know our alumni share that feeling as well.  We have received countless communications from our alumni, faculty, staff, and students expressing their pride.  More than 300 people on campus gathered at the clock tower on Monday afternoon for a vigil to remember Vicki and all of those who lost their lives last week.  President Nunez and Father Larry both spoke, and everyone joined in the singing of Amazing Grace.  It was a very moving moment for everyone. 
To honor Vicki, Eastern has created the Victoria Leigh Soto Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund to support students studying to be teachers who have unmet financial need.  We have been amazed at the response of Vicki's Eastern family and friends.  To date, the University webpage honoring Vicki has had nearly 6,000 visitors, and we have received nearly 250 individual gifts to the scholarship fund. 

The photo of the candles below was taken at Monday's vigil on campus.  Like those candles, the Eastern community stands united, and we all shine brightly to honor Vicki's memory.  

Our Victoria Leigh Soto Scholarship Fund site can be found here.  Please reach out to your own personal social media networks and ask your own friends and families to honor Vicki's memory through this scholarship.

You can also receive timely updates from the alumni office on our Alumni Association Facebook page.

Vicki Soto represents the very best of Eastern, and I'm proud to be part of the university family she loved so much.
Regards from Willimantic, 
Michael J. Stenko
Director of Alumni Affairs
Eastern Connecticut State University
83 Windham Street
Willimantic, CT 06226

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