A former Crystal Lake man killed in the Aurora, Colo., mass shootings will be remembered with an annual scholarship.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is starting the John T. Larimer Scholarship to honor the memory of the Crystal Lake native who was killed in the July 20 movie theater shootings.
Larimer, a 2008 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduate, was working in Colorado as a cryptologist with the U.S. Navy when he and 11 other people were killed.
After learning of Larimer’s death, students in the UW-Whitewater chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, joined with faculty, family members and friends to create a scholarship to honor his memory, the school said in a news release.
Larimer was a member of Phi Alpha Theta while in school and served as its secretary, treasurer and vice president.
“He was so intellectually strong,” said Tony Gulig, associate professor of history. “When all the other students would leave for the day, John was always ready to debate the issues we talked about in class. He had a keen interest in working with historical documents – probably why the military was so interested in him.”
Members of the school’s national history honor society will be eligible for the scholarship. Students must have a 3.1 GPA in their history courses and have demonstrated a passion for history.
“The student should be active in the preservation of history,” said Kristen Mekemson, director of development for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
The university hopes to receive donations to create an endowment of at least $10,000, which would allow for an annual award of at least $425, but the scholarship amount will depend on how much is raised, Mekemson said.
The school expects to give the first award in the spring of 2014.
“History is a living discipline,” Gulig said. “John is an example of the important role historians play. It’s not just about knowing where we’ve been, but using that knowledge to see where we might go. This scholarship will support students much like John.”
Funds are needed to ensure that the scholarship becomes an annual award for UW-Whitewater students. Donations to the John T. Larimer Scholarship can be made by sending checks to UW-Whitewater Foundation, 800 W. Main St.,Whitewater, WI 53109, or by contributing online at http://www.uww.edu/foundation/give/form.html (select new gift/other/John T. Larimer Scholarship).
For information, call Director of Development Kristen Mekemson at 262-472-1622.