Novelist supports Watkins scholarship
Novelist Laura Moriarty was a graduate student in English at KU in 1999
when she heard about the murder of alumna Amy Watkins.
That year Watkins, social welfare ’96, was killed by two men in
New York City as she walked home from an internship where she worked with
victims of domestic violence.
“I remember thinking that we knew some of the same people,”
said Moriarty, who earned a bachelor’s degree in social welfare
at KU in 1993. “I realized she was younger than I was and it just
made me so sad. It was this terrible thing that sits with you. That could
happen to me, I thought. To anyone.”
Now Moriarty, who has just published her first novel, has added almost
$23,000 to the Amy Watkins Scholarship Fund at the KU Endowment Association.
The Watkins scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students in the
KU School of Social Welfare, with a preference for those specializing
in domestic violence or families at risk. The scholarship, which originally
was established with memorial contributions in 1999, will be awarded for
the first time in the spring for the 2004-05 academic year.
“Amy Watkins was such a memorable student,” said Alice Lieberman,
social welfare associate professor and one of Watkins and Moriarty’s
former instructors. “She was just so loved. She had a real interest
in poor women and their children and was great with them. As a social
worker, the best thing you can give people is hope for the future, and
Amy was particularly talented at that.
“Laura is a modest, extremely generous person herself,” added
Lieberman, “and we’re thrilled that she has chosen to honor
Amy in this way. This is wonderful.”
Moriarty, author of The Center of Everything, was formally recognized
by the School of Social Welfare during the school’s annual meeting
of its advisory board Sept. 25.