neha2_Andrea-Brubakker

Neha Suri was a senior at the University of Wisconsin when she died from bacterial meningitis in Feb. 2010. Suri was studying political science and journalism, and at her memorial, chairs from both departments pledged they would start a scholarship in her honor. Suri is warmly remembered by her friends and neighbors.[/media-credit]

A 5K race in Minneapolis will help build a scholarship founded in honor of an athletic and beloved University of Wisconsin senior whose tragic death shook the University of Wisconsin campus over a year and a half ago.

On Feb. 2, 2010, UW senior Neha Suri died from bacterial meningitis. This weekend, a Run/Walk in her memory in will raise money for a UW scholarship created in her honor.

Bacterial meningitis is a severe but rare infection that causes damage to the brain and spinal cord.

On Jan. 25 2010, Suri was rushed to the hospital and was put in an induced coma as of Jan. 26. After a week in critical condition, she passed away the afternoon of the Feb. 2.

A memorial service for her was held in Lathrop Hall the day after her death, where over 100 students, along with family members and faculty members including Dean of Students Lori Berquam and former Chancellor Biddy Martin mourned the loss.

“[It is] evident that she didn’t just visit this school,” Martin said at the service. “… [Suri] managed in a relatively short time to make of her life something singular and something important.”

Suri was a journalism and political science major who wrote for the Daily Cardinal and worked for Recreational Sports at the SERF.

A native of Singapore, she was very involved in campus activities and held an internship at the State Capitol.

To commemorate Suri’s commitment to her studies as a Badger, the Department of Political Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication have established The Neha Suri Scholarship Fund.

“We were all shocked [by Suri’s death], and we weren’t sure how to help,” said Carl Jaeger, a friend of Suri’s and Badger Herald alumnus.

This scholarship, he said, will help others to be touched by the life of a “very sweet and caring girl.”

This annual scholarship will be given to juniors or seniors majoring in political science or journalism, especially those applicants who are undertaking this combined major, as well as involved on campus.

The Daily Cardinal Alumni Association donated a seed gift of $1,000. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Department of Political Science each also contributed $1,000.

Ideally, if the scholarship can reach $10,000, it will then be considered a permanent endowment in the College of Letters and Sciences, allowing the interest from this amount to be given to students.

To help accomplish the $10,000 goal, Suri’s friends and family have organized a 5K Run/Walk on Saturday Nov. 12 in Minneapolis, where her closest family and friends in the U.S. live.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon. The path of the run-walk tours Lake of the Isles, one of the many scenic spots in Minneapolis.

Registration costs for the 5K, including a t-shirt, are $25 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.

To register for the Run/Walk for Neha event, please visit:
http://www.wix.com/runforneha/nehasuri#!run-or-walk. To donate to the Neha Suri Scholarship Fund, please visit: https://secure.supportuw.org/MultiPage/processStep1.do?seq=9805.