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Endowed scholarship to honor Capt. Benjamin A. Sklaver, A99, F03

When the flag-draped casket of U.S. Army Capt. Benjamin A. Sklaver, A99, F03, arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Oct. 3, 2009, he was mourned not only by his parents and fiancée, but by thousands of people in Uganda who simply knew him as "Moses Ben," the man who brought them clean and sustainable drinking water, the Hartford Courant reported.

Sklaver also was mourned here at Tufts, where the School of Arts and Sciences and The Fletcher School both proudly counted him as one of their own, and where flags on campus flew at half-staff in his memory.

The 32-year-old Army Reservist in the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, was killed in an ambush, possibly by a suicide bomber, while on patrol in Murcheh, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.

As a tribute, Sklaver's classmates and friends are establishing the Benjamin A. Sklaver Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to Tufts' students, who embody the ideals that Ben demonstrated through the life he lived. They have also created Facebook page named "Benjamin Sklaver Scholarship at Tufts University" where friends and family can leave messages and learn more about both Sklaver and the scholarship.

Benjamin Sklaver "He was an extraordinary man," recalled Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, Neubauer executive director of the Hillel Foundation at Tufts and a close family friend. The mayor of his hometown, Hamden, Conn., described him as "kind of like the all-American boy who grew up to be a hero and a humanitarian."

While working at the Centers for Disease Control in 2007, Sklaver founded ClearWater Initiative, a nonprofit organization that has since brought clean drinking water to more than 6,500 people in strife-torn northern Uganda. His father said he was inspired by his Jewish faith and its emphasis on doing good deeds for others. "This was a young man determined to make the world a better place," he said.

In the spring of 2010, the Tufts University Alumni Association bestowed posthumously its new award for Active Citizenship and Public Service to Sklaver. Ben's parents accepted the award on his behalf at the Fletcher Class Day event in May.

Sklaver embodied everything for which Tufts stands. His classmates and friends need your help and support to establish an endowed scholarship in his honor at Tufts University. To make a gift, please visit www.tufts.edu/givenow. Select School of Arts and Sciences, and then "other" as the area and write in "Sklaver Scholarship Fund."

For more information on giving to the Benjamin A. Sklaver Scholarship Fund, please contact Kosta Alexis, development officer, School of Arts and Sciences, Tel: 617-627-4978. Email: kosta.alexis@tufts.edu