On August 20, the tragic news broke that American journalist James Foley, who was abducted in northern Syria in Nov. 2012, had been executed by the Islamic militant group known as ISIS. While the international outrage over this heinous crime continues to simmer, Foley’s family and friends are creating something positive out of the tragedy by establishing a new scholarship in his honor at Foley’s alma mater, Marquette University.
The James Foley Scholarship Fund will provide financial assistance to a student who would not otherwise be able to attend Marquette’s J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication. In addition to the scholarship, recipients will also receive mentoring from Foley’s family and friends to help build on the principles of his life, specifically his conviction to provide a voice for the average people whose lives have been affected by war.
It’s a powerful way to honor the legacy of a man who repeatedly put himself in harms way to report from the front lines of conflicts. According to NBC News, Foley was kidnapped in Libya in April 2011 and held captive for 44 days, an experience he later shared in a letter to students at Marquette. He also served as an embedded reporter with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Even prior to his career in journalism, Foley had exhibited traits of altruism and service. After graduating from Marquette with a history degree in 1996, he signed up for the Teach for America program and helped educate disadvantaged students in Phoenix. He later helped inmates in Chicago’s Cook County prison system learn to read and write.
It’s these traits that make Foley a worthy namesake for his scholarship at Marquette, and undoubtedly what his family will cherish as they remember him. Click here to make a contribution to the James Foley Scholarship Fund.