Eric McMillan Memorial Scholarship To Be Created

A scholarship in memory of slain UI student Eric McMillan, who died on September 19, 2004, is being created by his English instructor, Marcia Kmetz, and Ethnic Literature professor, Jan Johnson. Organizers must raise $25,000 to establish the scholarship and are asking for donations of $5 from 5,000 donors.

All text in this article is from a University of Idaho PRESS RELEASE.

An essay Eric wrote the week before his murder reflecting on this young life in Oceanside, California inspired the scholarship. He lived in this "bottom on high" until he was 12; it was a city ruled by drug lords, overrun by crime, and devastated by poverty. According to his writing instructor, Marcia Kmetz, "many of the young men and women who grew up on those streets did not survive them; Eric did. His essay demonstrated such strength and such a mature recognition of his responsibility for others that I was deeply moved. After his death, this essay took on even greater importance. Eric was a fine young man and his life was one of leadership and friendship. He worked to improve race relations in his high school community. He helped care for his ill mother. He made many friends on our campus and left a lasting memory, a memory of a kind, giving man."

Kmetz and Johnson want to memorialize Eric by creating a scholarship targeted toward those who have escaped from difficult circumstances and who have improved both their own life and the lives of those around them. This scholarship will be based primarily on character to reflect the best of Eric. Says Kmetz, "Eric was a living symbol of the American Dream at its finest, but was tragically denied the conclusion of that dream. We'd like to let his memory live on by helping to provide that dream to others."

Scholarship organizers and friends of Eric McMillan will be collecting donations for The Eric McMillan Memorial Scholarship this Friday, May 6th in front of the Idaho Commons between 10 am and 4 pm. Donations may also be dropped off at the Continuing Education Building, Room 117, or mailed to campus zip 3147. Off campus donations should be mailed to:

Eric McMillan Memorial Scholarship
University of Idaho Foundation
Gift Administration Office
PO Box 443147
Moscow, ID 83844-3147

Marcia Kmetz,
Jan Johnson,

Both can be reached through the UI Department of English at (208) 885-6156.

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