They were risk takers, dreamers, planners, leaders. They stimulated their teachers to work harder and be smarter. They wanted more than a simple education. They were willing to try the new and the different. They were cherished by their families and friends.
And with terrifying suddenness, they were gone. As swiftly as a thought of death, it was harsh reality, a reality that became far too common in our time. Thirty-five students studying abroad with Syracuse University were struck down from the sky on Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988, along with 224 other passengers and eleven Lockerbie residents, victims of a terrorist bombing.
Those who knew and loved these young people will never forget the moment they discovered the nearly unbearable truth. They will forever carry with them in their mind the picture of where they were, who brought the news, on whose shoulders they cried
But in the long process of grief, there is the comfort that comes from other memories. Memories of the loved person in the glory of youth, bright-eyed and eager for whatever came next. Ready to be part of things. Ready for hard work. Ready for fun.
At Syracuse University, we are lucky. We only have to look out onto the campus, into a classroom, over the crowd at the Dome to see the spirit embodied in the 35 students lost to us that December day. In fact, they live on among us in the spirits of all our students, young men and women ready for the excitement of challenging and growth.
We express our hope for the future through 35 scholarships in memory of our students. The recipients, each of them risk takers and leaders, go forward to futures of limitless possibility, just as those we lost would have done had they the chance.
Thus we dedicate this scholarship in memory and in hope to those who were and those who will be.