Johns Hopkins University students Brian Kinsella of Freehold, N.J., and Benjamin Douglass McAbee of Hagerstown, Md., will receive scholarships for the coming academic year in memory of Christopher B. Elser, the university and Elser's family announced.
The grants are the first made possible by friends and family to perpetuate the memory of Chris Elser, a member of the Johns Hopkins class of 2005 who was murdered a year ago. The awards honor Chris' strong commitment and loyalty to his friends, his openness to others and his passion for sports, the family and university said.
Elser, who would have graduated from Johns Hopkins on Thursday, May 26, was fatally wounded in April 2004 in an encounter with a burglar in an off-campus apartment building occupied by members of his Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. In his three years at Johns Hopkins, Elser, a resident of Camden, S.C., dedicated himself to his friends, soccer, his studies and the community around him, his family said.
Kinsella is a senior political science major and dean's list student who will complete his studies in January 2006. He has been elected president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at Johns Hopkins and is an ROTC cadet who expects to be commissioned as an Army officer after graduation. He is working this summer as both a heavy equipment operator for a construction company and a special police officer in a New Jersey Shore town.
McAbee will be a junior economics and applied mathematics and statistics major when the academic year begins in September. He also is pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship and management. He is a starting midfielder/forward on the university's varsity soccer team and was an All-Centennial Conference second-team selection in 2003. He has volunteered at Tench Tilghman Elementary School in Baltimore, assisting with after-school activities, and takes part in the soccer team's community volunteer activities. McAbee has worked in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth offices, at a securities firm in Baltimore and a bank in Hagerstown. He will intern this summer at Legg Mason Inc.
To celebrate Chris' life and to carry forward what he lived for, his friends and family are establishing the Christopher B. Elser Scholarship to be awarded annually to a bright and talented student who shares Chris's passion for athletics and dedication to community. The family said it hopes the scholarship will be awarded to an upperclassman at Johns Hopkins who will keep Chris's vibrant spirit alive on the campus of Johns Hopkins and beyond.
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