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    Monday, Nov. 17, 2008

    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153


    Scholarship honors former Herd kicker who died in plane crash

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University Foundation, Inc., has established the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship in memory of the former Thundering Herd place kicker/punter from Lyndhurst, N.J., who died in the Nov. 14, 1970 Marshall plane crash.

    Lajterman was 19 when he, along with 74 other people, died in the crash. His brother, Mo Lajterman, who began a fundraising campaign to establish the scholarship, attended Friday’s annual memorial service at Marshall, along with other brothers Tito Lajterman and Abe Lajterman, and cousin Adrian Steingart.

    The family presented a check for $1,000 to the Marshall Foundation to start an expendable merit scholarship under Marcelo Lajterman’s name. The family’s goal is to create an endowment at Marshall to honor Lajterman’s memory. The fund will become endowed when a minimum of $15,000 is received. Until then, the foundation will support a yearly $1,000 merit scholarship.

    While in Huntington, the family also presented a gift of a miniature statue of Marcelo Lajterman to Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp.

    During what he called “a very special moment” after attending the premiere of “We Are Marshall in December 2006,” Mo Lajterman said he and his family began talking about what they could do to honor their late brother’s memory.

    They created the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship Fund which resulted in raising enough funds through a golf outing to award two scholarships in their home state of New Jersey.

    “The next thing we thought about was doing an endowment for Marshall University,” Mo Lajterman said. “We (the Lajtermans and Marshall) became family. We wanted to do something more special. Marcelo would love this … and his name lives on. This scholarship helps keep his name alive.”

    The recipient of the one-time award will be a full-time undergraduate student with a 3.0 or higher GPA and financial need, as determined by the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The award may also be used to cover academic expenses beyond tuition.

    “We are so honored and humbled to think that this family from so far would still consider giving back to Marshall University in this scholarship manner,” said Kristi Arrowood, director of special projects for the foundation. “It also shows that ‘We Are Marshall’ extends beyond just being an alum or current student. The entire Lajterman family is Marshall family and for generations to come, students who receive this scholarship will learn the history of Marcelo Lajterman and his contribution to the athletic program as well as Marshall University as a whole.”

    Persons may contribute to the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship by visiting www.marcelo23.com. For more information, contact Arrowood at 304-696-3505.

    Cutline: Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, middle, accepts a gift from the Lajterman family Friday, Nov. 14 before the annual memorial service on the Memorial Student Center plaza. From left are Adrian Steingart, Abe Lajterman, President Kopp, Mo Lajterman and Tito Lajterman.

    Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University

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