Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UConn Foundation raises enough funds to erect Jasper Howard memorial statue

UConn announced that a statue honoring the late Jasper Howard will be unveiled at halftime of the Nov. 1 game against Central Florida after the required amount of funds were raised by the UConn Foundation.

The movement to have a permanent memorial to Howard, who was stabbed to death on Oct. 18, 2009, was spearheaded by Dan and Lisa Lowry of Prospect. They started an online petition that received the support of the UConn alumni playing in the NFL, many of them former teammates of Howard's. That led to the UConn Foundation opened a secure giving fund with Maryland coach Randy Edsall, the UConn coach at the time of Howard's death, provided the lead gift in the fundraising campaign.

“Jasper Howard represented everything that is good about college athletics,” Edsall said in a statement. “He loved being a student-athlete at UConn. His tragic death had a bonding reaction with the entire UConn community that none of us will ever forget for the rest of our lives.”

The current UConn players, although they never played with Howard, threw their support behind the project including sophomore cornerback Jhavon Williams, who has worn Howard's No. 6 in each of the last two seasons.

"I wear the jersey now but it is not actually my number, it will always be Jasper Howard's," Williams said. 

"It always means something since day one when I stepped on this campus, I have been honored to wear that number knowing all eyes are going to be on me," Williams said, "I have to work harder than I have ever worked before on the field and off the field. It is a blessing to wear that number knowing that somebody like Jasper Howard (wore the number) and only a few number of players get to wear that number 6 so it is phenomenal.

"I have so much respect for Jasper Howard, what he went through and his family (endured), I have to be close to perfect wearing that number. Every day I wake up, everything, going to class on time, it makes me have a different approach about a lot of things."

Funds will continued to be raised for the Jasper T. Howard Endowed Scholarship Fund at UConn, which is presented annually to a cornerback on the Husky football team who best embodies the qualities of Howard. For information on how to contribute to that fund, visit http://s.uconn.edu/howardscholarship.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home