Friends of the late Southern Oregon student Alex Howell are fundraising to create a scholarship which will etch his name in commemoration at the school where he was so influential.
Originally attracted to SOU as a wrestler, Howell became an integral part of the campus with involvement in the ROTC program. Alex’s friends say he was easy to spot on campus because he was always smiling and belonged to multiple social groups. He was only a few days away from heading off to captains training before he passed away, spearfishing in the pacific ocean.
Since his passing local businesses like Northwest Pizza, Dutch Bros and O’ryan’s Irish Pub have given portions of profit to funding the family he left behind. However, four of his friend and former roommates have begun drawing up plans to create the Alex Howell Memorial Scholarship at SOU, which when fully funded, they hope will be endowed at the school and self-sustain for years to come.
The group who set up the scholarship also set criteria which they want to resemble Alex’s character and contribution to the community. It will be made available to SOU students who are in standing as sophomores through graduate programs, other requirements include: a GPA of 3.0 as well as involvement in either ROTC and or wrestling.
Before his passing away, Alex and those organizing his fundraiser took part in annual fantasy football league. Typically, as is common in American tradition, last place would have to perform some public act of embarrassment, while the winner took home the cash pot. This year however, all of the members will be donating their entry fees towards Alex’s scholarship. As of now, their GoFundMe account has raised $1850.00 but they hope to reach $25,000 which will put the foundation in endowment. In efforts to reach this goal, the friends have also organized a fundraiser to take place in the Sammich parking lot on Sunday, March 13th. From 4pm-8pm, those wishing to purchase pulled pork sliders will send their full contributions towards making the endowed scholarship a reality. Multiple business have already expressed their willingness to contribute to the event including Sysco, SOU dining services, ShopNkart, Grizzly Peak Winery and cookies from Sweet Tooth.
“It’s amazing how willing these business have been to help out,” says one of the organizers, Donnie Coulson, “It makes me happy to live in a city that so kind. This is the place that fits Alex’s personality perfect.” While Alex is no longer with us, students in charge of the campaign hope to use the scholarship as a way to keep his kind spirit alive on the SOU campus, providing funding to students in need.
Given the size of Sammich’s parking lot and event’s expected turnout, it is suggested that those attending try to take alternative forms of transportation.
Those looking to help with event can reach out to the number on the flyer as well as donate to their account online.