Scholarship for Memory
January 25, 2004
By Catya Martin
Richard Duqué, France's consul general
in New York has opened the consulate's doors to Dening Lohez,
founder of the "Jérôme Lohez Memorial Fund
at Stevens Institute of Technology," an association dedicated
to the memory of the French victims of the Sept.11, 2001 attacks.
husband, Jérôme Lohez, was one
of these victims. He worked on the 26th floor of tower one
of the World Trade Center and lost his life at the age of 30.
and Dening met at Stevens Institute of Technology, a university
in Hoboken known for its masters program
in management. Educated at the ÉPITA School for Engineers
in France, Jérôme completed his studies at Stevens. ÉPITA
has had exchanges with Stevens for over ten years to allow
students to benefit from the best elements of the French school
and to receive a double diploma -- French and American.
honor the memory of her young husband, Dening decided, one
month after Jérôme's death, to create an
annual scholarship in his name. Designed to aid students of ÉPITA,
the scholarship will be awarded based on criteria such as scholarly
merit, and on the American ideals of cultural and religious
tolerance and the spirit of enterprise, equality and generosity.
Once the selection is made, laureates will receive a scholarship
of $2,000 for studying their courses, under the best conditions.
if the sum is modest, it enormously helps young students, who
often have very limited resources. "Jérôme
and I wanted to start a family, have children ….We had
even chosen names. Today I know that all that will not be possible
and that this foundation represents in a small way, what we
will never have," explained Dening, her voice full of
She has already contacted a large number of French enterprises
in the United States to determine how they might help with
this project. The response has been very cordial, with those
responsible moved and touched by Dening's story. But
she had not succeeded in raising the funds. So it is with her
own personal money and her own insurance that she has begun
"The youths that I aid are the best engineers that one could
find. For businesses, it is a true treasure. I don't
understand how this could not interest them, but I don't
despair," she declared. She is still waiting for a response
from France Télécom and has high hopes.
"The most complicated thing is to choose the right person,
to succeed in interesting someone other than just those with an
emotional attachment to September 11," she said. "I
really believe in this association and I thank all my friends
and close relations who have supported me during this initiative.
Without them, I would never have been able to help anyone.
I receive messages of support and thanks from the families
of the students that we have helped and some of them continue
their work here in the United States, like Jérôme.
I am very proud of this."
Facing this young determined
woman, the consul general immediately said yes to letting her
make her first real presentation to
the consulate. Richard Duqué made the reception an homage
to the French victims of September 11, and in front of several
families of the victims, he dedicated a plaque to the memory
of the five Frenchmen missing after the attacks. The plaque
now hangs in the welcome hall of the consulate to perpetuate
the memory of those victims.
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Translated from Chinese
by Charlotte Triggs