Friends fundraising for scholarship to honor murdered UA grad

Friends fundraising for scholarship to honor murdered UA grad

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - For the last three years, Harley Feldman has been making frequent trips from his home in Minnesota. While his life may be up north, he has two jobs in Arizona.

"One is to find the killer. The other is to keep her legacy alive. So I do both," Feldman said. "It's mixed emotions on both sides. But I do this for her."

On Saturday, Feb. 17, her life and memory was honored at a vigil outside the Scottsdale Courthouse.

Her case is one that is still unsolved.

"All times a year are hard. But this is especially hard because this marks three years since she was murdered," Harley told Tucson News Now, speaking about the frustrations for his family and detectives. "They can't find anybody who hated Allison. Or anybody that she didn't like. Or any bad connection between her and anybody else. That's what makes it so hard."

But a silver lining has appeared, inside the Global Initiatives offices on the University of Arizona campus.

It's where Allison Feldman once made a connection and other students now come for information - learning how to study abroad where she once did in the town of Alcalá de Henares outside Madrid, Spain.

That same experience will soon be made possible for others.

Two of her friends, Monica Brown and Rob Stirling, are hoping to raise $25,000 to create a permanent endowment with the UA Foundation in Allison's name. The Allison Feldman Memorial Scholarship would provide opportunities for students to participate in UA Study Abroad programs.
 
Brown and Stirling bonded with Allison as they participated in the same program.

"They called just to see if I thought it was okay. I said, 'Not is it only okay, I'm glad to help wherever I can,'" Harley said, talking about the endowment. "I thought, wow! Here's two students on their own who want to honor Allison. How much better does it get than that?"

Allison was initially hesitant to live overseas, but Harley encouraged her to visit the UA Study Abroad office, according to a news release from the Office of Global Initiatives.

"As he sat by her side, Allison signed up for the Arizona in Alcalá de Henares program run through the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. Allison was a junior majoring in Communication and minoring in Spanish when she went abroad in the spring semester of 2004," the news release stated.

She came back a different person.

"More grown up. More responsible. Willing to accept big tasks that she hadn't before. If that experience applies to somebody else that would be superb," Harley said.

"It's a tragic story. But the things her friends are doing with the crowdfunding campaign are trying to bring some light into that," said Lisa Turker, the UA Study Abroad Operations Associate Director.

She is praising the benefits.

"The opportunities this will provide for students, who may not otherwise be able to have that opportunity Allison had, is a wonderful part," Turker said.

DONATE TO THE SCHOLARSHIP CAMPAIGN: https://crowdfund.arizona.edu/project/9268

Scottsdale Police continue to interview possible people of interest in Allison Feldman's murder case. You can call Silent Witness if you have information or an anonymous tip to help crack this case at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446).

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