This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.

October 8, 2001

Mother-Daughter Team Announces
Lobo Scholarship Fund

Rebecca Lobo, one of the nation's best known women's basketball players, and her mother, RuthAnn, Tuesday announced they are establishing an endowed scholarship at the School of Allied Health for students from diverse backgrounds.

The scholarship, established with a pledge of $25,000 and a goal of $100,000, is designed to assist future health providers. The Lobos have committed to helping the University raise funds for the scholarship. Their pledge will be matched with $13,500 from the state, bringing the total value of the gift to $38,500.

"This scholarship focuses on the need for Hispanic patients to have access to health professionals with backgrounds similar to their own," Rebecca said at a press conference outside Gampel Pavilion. "This scholarship is a way to encourage students with Hispanic backgrounds to enter the health care professions."

She said her knee injuries have brought her into contact with many health care professionals and she has observed the need for minorities in the field.

Rebecca added that although her father has a Cuban background, she was not raised in the Hispanic culture. "But over the last five years, the Hispanic community has really embraced me," she said. "So now I would like to give back."

RuthAnn is a survivor of breast cancer who serves on the School of Allied Health Advisory Board. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, UConn became a respite from her worries, and the basketball office in Gampel Pavilion became her second home. "To work to promote the field of allied health has very special meaning for me," she said.

The scholarship, to be conferred annually using interest from the endowment, will be given to a high school senior or UConn sophomore committed to enroll in the School of Allied Health, or a continuing student in the school. The student must demonstrate both academic achievement and financial need. Preference will be given to Hispanic students and students of African descent.

Dean Joseph Smey said the scholarship will help fill a "severe human resource shortage in all the allied health fields and particularly a shortage of people of color."

Rebecca Lobo captained UConn's national championship women's basketball team in 1995. She is now a member of the New York Liberty team, and in 1999 was voted by the Boston Globe as one of the top 100 New England sports figures of the 20th century.

"Rebecca has always been about giving to and helping others," said Geno Auriemma, coach of the women's basketball team. "On the court, she was an unselfish player and a great teammate. I'm not surprised that her legacy at UConn is going to reflect that, and be one of her giving back to the community."

Since her graduation in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in political science, Lobo has been a television commentator on college basketball.

RuthAnn Lobo is a guidance counselor at Granby Memorial Middle School. She often makes media appearances to talk about breast cancer.

Contributions to the scholarship fund can be made by mailing a check payable to the "R&R Lobo Scholarship"/UConn Foundation and mailed to Cynthia Adams, associate dean, School of Allied Health, 358 Mansfield Road, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-2101.

The $25,000 pledge is part of a $300 million capital campaign, Campaign UConn, announced earlier this year, which seeks money for scholarships, faculty and program support and capital projects.

Karen A. Grava