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Boston University starts scholarship fund to honor blast victim

April 18, 2013|By Andrew Tangel
  • Boston University student Lu Lingzi, killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, was honored at a memorial Wednesday night.
Boston University student Lu Lingzi, killed in the Boston Marathon bombing,… (Associated Press. )

BOSTON -- Boston University set up a scholarship fund Thursday in honor of student Lu Lingzi, one of three people killed in Monday's bombing at the city’s marathon.

Donors have already committed $560,000 toward the fund, the university said.

On a day when President Obama delivered a rousing speech at a religious service in Boston honoring the victims, the university said Lu’s family would travel to Boston from their home in Shenyang, China, as soon as this weekend.

The university may hold a memorial service next week, depending on the family’s wishes, a university spokesman said.

“We are grieving and at a loss for words to describe the pain and sadness we are experiencing following the sudden passing of our dear daughter, Lingzi,” Lu’s parents said in a statement issued through the university on Thursday. “She was the joy of our lives. She was a bright and wonderful child. We were thrilled to watch her grow into an intelligent and beautiful young woman.”

Her parents said she was living her dream of studying in the United States. One day, they said, their daughter hoped to “play a role in international business, specializing in applied mathematics.”

At the university, the mourning for Lu continued Thursday as students and faculty remembered the 23-year-old as an eager graduate student in the mathematics and statistics department.

“She was a very sweet kid,” said Eric Kolaczyk, who was Lu’s advisor as the director of the department’s statistics program. “She had a way of smiling that was half-smiling, half-serious at the same time, and it was very charming.”

By Thursday afternoon, mourners had left a pile of bouquets outside a campus chapel.

Lu was on track to graduate with a master’s degree next year. She had already laid the groundwork for a career. She came to Boston after having completed three internships at financial services firms in China, Kolaczyk said.

“She would have been quite employable,” he said.

Lu came to Boston University by way of the Beijing Institute of Technology. She had studied economics, and she spent part of her college career at UC Riverside.

But she was an ambitious student with a voracious curiosity, her advisor said. She made a rare request, for a master’s student, to take part in the school’s research. She wanted to take a class in the history of mathematics -- not a required class -- and was taking piano lessons this semester.

And like many Chinese who study in the United States, Lu faced challenges adjusting to English, and to a new culture far away from home. But she adjusted well, making many friends along the way.

“It’s a testament to her determination that she succeeded as well as she did,” Kolaczyk said.

ALSO:

FBI releases images of two suspects in Boston Marathon

Somber mood turns to cheers at Boston interfaith service

Boston Marathon bombs: Crude, unsophisticated but still deadly

andrew.tangel@latimes.com

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