DONATIONS for OSU plane crash memorials have exceeded $450,000

Sunday, August 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Despite the lack of a formal fund-raising campaign, memorials for the Oklahoma State University plane crash have garnered more than $450,000 in donations, officials say.

Since the Jan. 27 crash that killed 10 people associated with the men's basketball program, the university has established 12 funds to help pay for a memorial and scholarships for the children and siblings of the victims.

As of Friday, $465,580 had been donated.

``It's been a tremendous response,'' said Wayne King, a spokesman for the OSU Foundation. ``And we are not actively raising funds.''

Two of the 12 funds are for endowments for college scholarships and to help build memorials. The remaining funds are in memory of specific victims, where the wishes of the family will be honored.

``They are still trying to decide,'' said Natalea Watkins, a university spokeswoman. ``Some want to set up scholarships, but it also depends on the memorials. Some have indicated using the funds for that.''

A memorial is planned for the newly renovated Gallagher-Iba Arena, while another memorial is planned for the crash site near Byers, Colo.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Colorado memorial is scheduled for Aug. 25.

Scholarships will cover undergraduate tuition at OSU, enrollment fees, on-campus room and board and textbooks for the six children and four siblings of the victims.

There also is some discussion about paying for one sibling's education even if she chooses not to attend OSU.

The sister of Daniel Lawson, one of two players killed in the crash, is considering attending Michigan State University. University officials and Lawson's family are working to resolve the matter to help pay for Shynika Lawson's education.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board will release reports Tuesday about the crash. The reports will contain facts about the accident but won't include an analysis of the crash or state a cause, the agency said.

Reports indicating what caused the crash will be released later.