Families establish memorial funds



As the grieving continues, arrangements are being made to further memorialize the lives of the four students who died as a result of an automobile accident Jan. 17.

The families of Kyle Burnat ’05, Andrew Dwyer ’05, Sean Fenton ’04 and Nicholas Grass ’05 have each designated memorial funds to honor the four victims. The Yale Athletics Department said it is planning a blood drive in memory of the four students, but the University has not yet formalized any plans for further memorial activities or commemorations on campus.

Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead said the University will likely honor the students in the near future, but he said no specific arrangements had been made.

“We’ll certainly be expecting that we’ll be having memorial services on campus,” Brodhead said.

A service in memory of Fenton was held in Battell Chapel on Jan. 19, while another service for Fenton is scheduled for Saturday at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, Calif. Memorial services for Burnat, Dwyer, Grass and Burnat were held Monday and Tuesday.

Brodhead said the University did not want to establish funds that might compete with those created by the families of the victims.

William Grass, Grass’ father, announced at his son’s wake that the family would accept donations to a scholarship fund in Nicholas Grass’ honor in lieu of flowers. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student-athlete at Holyoke High School who excels in both sports and academics. Grass was an all-Western Massachusetts selection in both football and baseball at Holyoke High.

A spokeswoman at Peoples Bank, which is administering the fund, declined to give any further information about the scholarship.

The Burnat family asked that contributions in Kyle Burnat’s honor be made to the Yale Baseball Association or Woodward Academy, the College Park, Ga., school Burnat attended before coming to Yale.

“We are accepting contributions towards a memorial fund and the specifics of that have not yet been determined by the family,” said Frank McKay of the development office at Woodward. “We will have to allow the family some time to gather their thoughts and decide what they want to do.”

Calhoun College Master William Sledge said any plans for a memorial honoring Burnat, who lived in Calhoun, would be dependent on the Burnat family’s wishes.

The Dwyer family requested that contributions be made to the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. Officials at the school said the family had not yet determined the specific administration of a memorial fund.

“We haven’t been able to have any conversations with the family about it,” said a spokeswoman in the alumni and development office at Hotchkiss. “Until we get direction from the Dwyers, we don’t know what they have in mind.”

The Fenton family asked that donations be given to the Sean R. Fenton Memorial at Yale. Yale administrators did not specify how the funds would be used.

Tim Ford, associate athletics director for development at Yale, said the Athletics Department had not yet determined how it would honor the students. Burnat and Grass were varsity baseball players at Yale while Fenton played varsity football his freshman year.

“It’s just been such a difficult few days that people haven’t really had a chance to talk about things in the future,” Ford said.

The Athletics Department has organized a blood drive for Feb. 2 at Payne Whitney Gymnasium in memory of the victims. The idea for a blood drive was introduced by members of the lacrosse team over the weekend because of concerns about the available blood supply for victims of the accident, said senior associate athletic director Colleen Lim.

“The captains and some other students said ‘Let’s do something to give back,’ and this is a positive way to do that,” Lim said.

Comments

  • Loisen

    Hey kids, this is an old alumni `79 saying “Welcome to the Good Ole Days at Yale”. Back to the times when the police would beat up students and send them to the hospital. Back to the times when they would arrest students who would dare to record the police violence. Remember the sweet smell of student’s blood as four police officers would beat up one student.

    Except now they have a new toy and they had to use it, the Taser. One student dared to question their actions so they had to taser him. Don’t you students know that all rights were eliminated by Baby Bush.

    And the whole thing was based on some bogus excuse. They say they were there to stop violence, but they were the only ones who were violent. Be careful, it will get worse before it gets better.