University Prof. David Moore said he wanted his daughter Elisa”s memory to live on, not with a polished tombstone, but through a scholarship expressing her will to reach out to people of diverse nationalities.
Moore realized this wish last night at a memorial for his daughter at the Industrial Operations and Engineering Building on the University”s North Campus. Elisa Moore, who was an Engineering student at the University, died last year in a car crash on Election Day while returning to campus after voting. The memorial ceremony brought together Elisa”s family and friends and celebrated her life through the music she loved. The Elisa Moore Memorial Scholarship was also introduced, a fund which was developed to help young women in third world nations receive a college education.
Moore said the scholarship will be offered at Caribbean Union College, a school on the island of Trinidad. He said his family decided to offer the scholarship to students from Third World nations because a limited amount of money can provide far more assistance to impoverished women.
Moore said although his daughter”s death was heart-rending, the scholarship continues her work of reaching out to people from diverse nationalities by providing hope to women in poor nations. He said his daughter befriended international students through an internship in Brazil as part of an international business student organization, and her work with the late Engineering Prof. Andrew Crawford in a program assisting Bangladesh with its health care needs.
Former Vice President Al Gore, in a letter he sent apologizing for not being able to attend the memorial, said, “Elisa”s initiative and ambition to the welfare of others is an example for all of us to follow. Her spirit will live on each time this scholarship is awarded to a bright and deserving student.”
Hiriti Haille Selassie is one of the students Elisa Moore embraced. Selassie, an Ethiopian who had just moved to the United States, met Moore while interning at General Electric last summer. She said Elisa Moore understood the cultural burdens she faced.
“I connected with her in a way I had never connected with anyone since leaving home. She brought out the best in me and taught me to focus on the positives in life. She has a wonderful gift to make people comfortable and for interacting with a diverse group of people,” Selassie said.
Malcolm Bernard, Elisa Moore”s cousin, said because Moore enjoyed interacting with people of different cultures and nationalities, she developed a passion for international business.
Her father said that along with her work, Elisa Moore loved singing for gospel choirs. The University of Michigan Gospel Chorale, which Elisa Moore practiced with a few times, performed several energizing songs during the memorial. David Moore said the chorale was invited to perform because his daughter loved Christian gospel music.
David Moore said religion was a major part of the last year of his daughter”s life.
He said she was the vice president and one of the founding members of a church group called Adventist Students for Christ. She had been on her way to attend a meeting of the group when she struck a deer on U.S. 23 and lost control of her vehicle.
David Moore said his daughter was a loyal Democrat, and she volunteered for former President Bill Clinton”s campaign by encouraging people to vote.
He said the last message she left on her mother”s answering machine was a reminder to perform her civic duty by voting.