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UTA to give scholarship in Kalpana's name

By Suman Guha Mozumder in New York
February 05, 2003 14:55 IST
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The University of Texas at Arlington will announce a $100,000 donation for a memorial scholarship in the name of Kalpana Chawla, the Indian American astronaut who died in the Columbia space shuttle crash on February 1, UTA spokesperson Roger Tuttle said.

Chawla graduated from the university in 1984 with a degree in aerospace engineering.

The donation will be announced on Wednesday at a memorial at the Nedderman Hall atrium of the university.

This annual scholarship is for students from any department of engineering. Preference, however, will be given to students graduating in aerospace engineering.

He also added that the UTA would try to give more than one scholarship.

At the memorial, a group of teachers will give an overview of Chawla's long association with the university. Speakers include Dr Don R Wilson, chairman of mechanical and aerospace engineering department and Chawla's thesis advisor, Dr Robert E Witt, the president of the college and Dr Bill D Carroll, dean of UTA's college of engineering.

"Kalpana was an exceptional student -- bright and enthusiastic, someone we in the department are extremely proud of. She returned to the campus several times to speak, always with a great excitement about what she was doing and what other students could accomplish if they too pursued a dream to its fullest," Wilson said.

"It is a deep and personal loss for me and my wife, as we got to know her more than just as a student."

Witt said the UTA is deeply saddened. "She will be remembered as one of UTA's exceptional students and a good friend of the university," he said.

On Tuesday an anonymous memorial was set up in front of the university's main library at the flagpoles.

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Suman Guha Mozumder in New York