By Barrett Neale
The story resonated across the country.
On May 3, 2010, just weeks before she was to graduate from the University of Virginia after a four-year lacrosse career, Notre Dame Prep alumna Yeardley Love was slain in her apartment in Charlottesville, Va. This month marked the beginning of the trial of Love's ex-boyfriend, George Huguely, who was also part of the Cavaliers lacrosse program, and is facing first-degree murder and other charges.
Soon after Love's death at age 22, a charitable organization called the One Love Foundation -- Love wore No. 1 at NDP and Virginia -- was formed, and worked with NDP to set up a memorial fund for those who wished to make contributions in Love's name.
Those donors have ensured that Love's legacy will live on at her former high school. NDP now has enough money to move ahead with construction of a new turf field to be named after Love, and has also created a fully endowed scholarship in her name, thanks to funding from the Charles T. Bauer Foundation.
"It was something that affected people far and wide," Bauer said. "It wasn't just a local story."
Bauer met with NDP's headmistress, Sister Patricia McCarron, during the summer of 2010 to discuss the school's fund-raising efforts. The field costs an estimated $1.2 million, and Bauer decided to issue a challenge grant -- for every dollar raised to fund the field, up to $500,000, the Charles T. Bauer Foundation would donate a dollar toward an endowed scholarship.
With the help of various donors, NDP did meet the $500,000 goal, and the first Yeardley Love scholar is now a freshman at NDP.
"We can give out a full, four-year scholarship every four years to a student," NDP director of communications Cami Colarossi said. "All of our scholarships are based on financial need, and the child that we awarded it to was a student who came from Mother Seton Academy, a school for low-income children."
Even after donors met Bauer's $500,000 goal, he continued to follow the progress of the fund-raising. The foundation's money goes mostly toward education, Bauer said, but when McCarron told him in December that another $165,000 would allow the school to begin building the field, he agreed to make a gift in that amount.
"Having been involved with it kind of early on, I wanted to see it come to fruition," Bauer said. "It wasn't getting any easier for them to raise the dollars, so I thought I'd give them some help."
Field construction is expected to begin this summer and should be finished by the time fall sports seasons begin. The field, like the scholarship fund, will serve as a permanent reminder of the contributions Love, a four-year member of the varsity field hockey and lacrosse teams, made to the Blazers community.
"Yeardley was the perfect combination," Colarossi said. "She was a wonderful athlete, but she was also a wonderful student and a wonderful person, who was committed to service. The field honors her athletic gifts. … She took her schoolwork seriously, so the scholarship is giving the opportunity of a Notre Dame education to another girl."
More Front Row:
• Soccer Standout Takes Coaching Skills To Central America
• One Love Foundation Soars Beyond Goals
• Studies Show Lacrosse Is On Growth Binge
• Dogged Legislators Made Lacrosse Official Sport
• Mike Bordick Welcomes New Orioles Role
• Annual Plunge Raised $2.5 Million In 16th Year
• From The Cheap Seats
Issue 170: February 2012