UMass Dartmouth today announced the establishment of a $50,000 scholarship fund in the name of Sean D. Duarte, a 2004 civil engineering graduate who passed away last September while running in the CVS Downtown 5K road race in Providence. Sean, who was born in Taunton and graduated from Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, was working at CDM, a consulting, engineering, construction and operations firm. The company had just granted him a one year leave of absence to teach science and math at an inner city school in the SouthCoast area. As part of the scholarship, CDM is providing a paid summer internship for the recipient.
"Sean's life is an example for us all and exemplifies everything we strive to teach our students about engagement in their community,'' said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. "This scholarship fund will promote Sean's values to future engineering students who want to use their energy and talents for the common good."
"Sean had a remarkable ability to relate to people and he was driven to motivate others to succeed,'' said Sean's mother Priscilla, a nurse at Longmeadow of Taunton. "We are so proud of him, and grateful for the support of this scholarship which will carry on his good work."
"We are pleased to support the creation of this fund which will encourage students who share Sean's commitment to help people through their profession as civil engineers and as members of the greater community," said Charles Breagy, president of the CVS Downtown 5K, Inc.
Sean graduated Summa Cum Laude from the College of Engineering in 2004. He chose a career in civil engineering, recognizing it as an opportunity to help people by improving the quality of their daily lives. Sean's commitment to serving others extended beyond work through his involvement in community service projects and many volunteer efforts.
"Sean's goal was to use his extensive math and science background in civil engineering to influence underprivileged children, showing them that they too could be part of the next generation of future engineers improving the quality of life for others," said CDM Vice President Carol Rego '82.
Sean had organized a team of CDM employees, along with his father Frank, to compete in the charity CVS Downtown 5K last year. Two months after the event, Matt Gallant '04, who shared an office with Sean, approached the University about creating an endowed scholarship in Sean's memory. Matt, his fiancé Danielle Lemoi (also a CDM employee) and Sean's fiancé, Alissa Murfitt, have participated in road races and organized other fund raising events for the scholarship. CDM will have a team in this September's Downtown 5K running to raise funds for the scholarship.
Charlie Breagy, whose company oversees the race, has been the largest donor to the scholarship. He has made it possible for race entries to select the Duarte Scholarship Fund as a recipient on the race entry form and is looking for ways to promote the scholarship in conjunction with this year's race on Sunday, September 18th.