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2008.02.25 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

Scholarship to Honor Brittany Williams' Memory and Benefit UNO Students

Omaha - Although Brittany Williams’ life was tragically cut short, her dream of pursuing a higher education will live on through a memorial scholarship established to benefit students attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

The Brittany Williams Memorial Scholarship commemorates the life and spirit of a young woman who was the first in her family to attend college. Williams was a student at UNO, studying pre-nursing, at the time of her death.

She was killed by a sniper’s bullet on Jan. 20 while waiting in the drive-through lane of a fast food restaurant in Omaha.

University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken has directed $5,000 to establish the scholarship through the University of Nebraska Foundation. The University is asking individuals in the community to collectively contribute an additional $5,000, so the scholarship can reach the $10,000 level needed to endow the fund.

“Brittany was a first-generation student in her family, and this scholarship honors those aspirations of achieving a college diploma,” Milliken said. “It is a tribute to her goals and dreams.”

UNO Chancellor John Christensen said the scholarship will serve as an enduring memorial to a young woman who was committed to reaching her full potential both in academics and in service to the community.

“This scholarship is a fitting tribute to Brittany, her dedication and her spirit,” he said. “Our goal is to reach the $10,000 level so the scholarship can exist in perpetuity, honoring her memory while benefiting UNO students for generations.”

While a student at UNO Williams was a UNO Goodrich Scholar and actively involved in Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority. In tribute to her dedication to these two groups, the scholarship will be given to a student who is a junior, maintains a GPA of 3.0 or higher and is a member of either organization.

“It was my great pleasure to have had Brittany as a student in English composition when she was just starting out her college career,” said Michael Carroll, associate professor, UNO Goodrich Program. “In class I remember she was always extremely cheerful, direct and honest. She also was a good scholar and a lovely young woman who knew where she was in the world and where she wanted to go. This scholarship is a fine opportunity to keep Brittany with us.”

Members of the AKA sorority have established a scholarship in Williams’ memory at Wells Fargo Bank. Later this year funding from the two scholarships will be combined to create a single Brittany Williams Memorial Scholarship at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Charlotte Duncan-Wagner, an AKA graduate advisor, remembers Brittany’s commitment to her sorority and to the UNO community.

“Brittany's achievements in the classroom, her warm personality, her work ethic and community involvement express the purpose of the sorority, “ said Duncan-Wagner. “She willingly made time for chapter projects and business in between her full-time class schedule and working eight hours daily at her full-time job. Brittany's life had such an impact on the Omaha community.”

Persons interested in supporting the scholarship should send contributions to the University of Nebraska Foundation, 8712 W. Dodge Road, Suite 100, Omaha, NE 68114. Please make checks payable to the NU Foundation. Gifts may be made online at www.nufoundation.org. Donations also are being accepted at any Wells Fargo Bank location for the scholarship initiated by AKA sorority.

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