College fund created for children of terrorism victims

Committee to be charged with raising money

November 14, 2001|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

A new scholarship fund will pay college costs for the children of Maryland residents killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced yesterday.

Glendening signed an executive order creating a committee that will try to raise about $500,000 by the end of the year. Some money would immediately go toward tuition and other costs of victims' family members enrolled in college. The rest would purchase four-year prepaid trusts for younger children through a state program.

Fifty-three Maryland families suffered losses in the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks, and the Pennsylvania airplane crash of Sept. 11, Glendening said. The governor said he has contacted each family, and that two had expressed concern that they could no longer afford college educations for younger family members.

"No young person will be denied an opportunity to fulfill that dream [of a college education] because of a vicious terrorist attack," Glendening said.

One of the first tasks will be determining the number of eligible beneficiaries, estimated at between 20 and 30.

The committee will be led by Doug Schmidt, chairman of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council. "This is not charity," Schmidt said yesterday. "This is a gift from Marylanders, to Marylanders."

Available benefits will be based on fund-raising success, Schmidt said. If the committee raises enough money, the program could be extended to cover room and board as well as tuition.

Glendening announced the scholarship fund flanked by about 50 students from Maryland colleges who had participated in blood drives and other charitable activities after the attacks.

No state money will be used for the scholarships, the governor said. But he said he would ask the General Assembly to expand an existing scholarship program that provides money to the families of public safety officers and military personnel killed on duty to include the Sept. 11 families.

Contributions can be made to the Maryland Survivors Scholarship Fund, c/o Harbor Bank, 25 W. Fayette St., Baltimore 21202. Information: 1-800-811-8336.

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