Archive for Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Scholarship honors Boardwalk victim

History majors with good, not great, grades eligible for Bingham award

November 28, 2007


Mother founds 'Nicole Bingham Memorial Scholarship'

The mother of one of the victims from the Boardwalk Apartment Fire in October 2005 looks to preserve her daughter's memory. Enlarge video

Nancy Bingham wants to preserve the memory of her daughter, Nicole, by awarding scholarships to students with her daughter's passion for learning.

Nicole Bingham was one of three people who died in the October 2005 fire at Boardwalk Apartments. Now, two years later, details have been finalized on the Nicole Bingham Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to Kansas University history majors who have no higher than a 3.5 grade-point average.

"Nicole never made good grades," Bingham said. "She was very bright, gifted, always participated in class, but she never liked to do homework."

Nancy Bingham created the scholarship fund - now standing at $30,000 - with what remained of Nicole's college money and donations from families and friends. As a Boeing retiree, Bingham had her donations matched by the company.

The first scholarship, about $1,500, will be awarded next fall to an undergraduate history major.

"Nicole had a passion for learning ever since she was little. She loved to travel and she just loved learning about different areas," Bingham said.

Bingham, who hopes to add to the fund, said she relied on Nicole's friends' help in establishing the scholarship.

Megan Denchfield, a 2007 KU graduate now living in Sacramento, Calif., said Nicole wanted to make an impact on people's lives.

"I think she would have (liked to be part of something like this)," Denchfield said. "Her friends were a big part of her life. She had a friend who passed away and she was always big on making sure his life lived on, that people knew who he was."

Bill Tsutsui, chairman of KU's history department, learned about six weeks ago that Nancy Bingham was eager to create a scholarship in his department.

"It's such a wonderful thing that her mother did to keep (Nicole's) memory going at KU," he said.

Tsutsui said the department has available only three scholarships for its 550 undergraduates.

"Having another one is really going to help people," he said. "We're planning to give it out as a lump sum to one student each year. I'm sure we'll have a lot of very qualified students for this."


LawSW 10 years, 5 months ago

Someone should come up with one for Yolanda Riddle, the social worker killed whom I went to school with. She was such a tough ham--a lot of fun--just got to know her the end of senior year at KU. She's missed...

Sharon Roullins 10 years, 5 months ago

A great idea! I think this will help her with the healing process.

Leandra Galindo 10 years, 5 months ago

There is currently a social work scholarship in memory of Yolanda Riddle at Haskell Indian Nations University. If anyone is interested donating to her scholarship, you may do so by visiting the Haskell student bank, located in Navarre Hall. As far as I know their has been two $1000.00 scholarships given out to two Haskell students who are continuing their education in social work.

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