On Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, Eastern Connecticut State University alumna Victoria Leigh Soto '08 lost her life protecting the children in her first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, from an assailant who shot and killed 20 children and six teachers at the school that day.
Victoria Soto was a dean's list student while she attended Eastern and graduated with high honors as an elementary education and history double major. "Our faculty remembers Vicki as a joy to be with, an exemplary student who was committed to nurturing young lives," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Her dream job was to teach children in the primary grades. She died protecting those children. She is being hailed throughout the world as a hero. We will never forget her."
In honor of Soto and her heroism, the University has announced the creation of the Victoria Leigh Soto Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund to support Eastern students studying to be teachers who have unmet financial need. For information, visit www.easternct.edu/advancement/victoria_soto.html
Donations may be directed to:
Victoria Leigh Soto Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund
ECSU Foundation, Inc.
Eastern Connecticut State University
83 Windham Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
ATTN: Kenneth J. DeLisa
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
To contribute online, visit https://eweb.easternct.edu/wfbprod/bwakngft.P_Make_A_Donation2. After filling out the first screen, you will be directed to a second screen to select a designation for their gift. On the dropdown menu, choose "Victoria Leigh Soto Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund."
On Dec. 17, several hundred students, faculty and staff joined President Elsa Núñez for a candlelight vigil at the Foster Clock Tower to honor Victoria Soto.