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 SRU, Sandy Lake Family Pay Tribute to Lakeview High Graduate 



Feb.10, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854; gordon.ovenshine


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa.  – Leah Cristine Furey was an ambitious young woman, a gifted pianist who received early acceptance into Slippery Rock University’s Music Therapy Program, only to die in June from complications of pneumonia two months before the start of her freshman year.

SRU honored her memory this week by awarding $2,250 in the first Leah Cristine Furey Scholarship to Chad Foster of Carlton, a junior parks and resource management major. Both graduated from Sandy Lake’s Lakeview Area High School.

 The family supports the scholarship as a tribute to the 18-year-old high spirit who exuded such a giving character.

           “She was a walking angel,” her father said. “We just hope this money will be used to remember Leah and what she stood for.”

           An honors student in high school, Ms. Furey befriended everyone, her parents said.  She played the organ at church for many years. Bible verses adorned her bedroom walls.

           She chose SRU because of its music therapy major, which prepares graduates to use music to comfort the sick. SRU’s Nanette Kaplan-Soloman, professor of music, recalled Ms. Furey’s piano audition. She also played French horn.

“We were very impressed with her abilities, and we were looking for her to become a shining star in the department,” Kaplan-Soloman said. “It wasn’t just her piano playing, she also had a great personally, real vivacious. She was a delight.”

Cristine Furey recalled her daughter’s work ethic. “She lived life to the fullest, and her heart was so huge, so caring, so unselfish. She was always helping people.”

           #PN, PR, PGN


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