The LCDR Erik S. Kristensen ’90, USN, Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in Erik’s honor by his family, classmates, and friends. A true patriot, Erik made the ultimate sacrifice in defending his Nation. As a Gonzaga student, he excelled in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the band while always maintaining a wonderful sense of humor. He truly lived the Gonzaga motto: a Man for Others. The fund benefits three worthy Gonzaga students who come from military families. We hope that the proceeds from The Tenth Annual Klassic will allow us to fund a fourth student.
The idea for the Scholarship Fund started with Erik himself. When Erik interviewed at The Olmsted Foundation for a prestigious Scholarship that he earned, the interviewer asked a very simple question: if you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Erik’s first answer showed his love and dedication to his parents, Sam and Ed Kristensen. Erik responded that he would pay off his parents’ mortgage. Secondly, Erik said that he would establish a scholarship fund to provide tuition assistance to students at his high school alma mater whose families served in the military. As the son of a career Naval officer, Erik knew firsthand how his parents worked hard and sacrificed to send him to a school providing a premier education.
When Erik was killed in action in Afghanistan while attempting to rescue four fellow Navy SEALs, his friends and family took on his goal and, in his name, made it happen. Thanks to the generosity of Erik’s family, friends, Gonzaga classmates, and Naval Academy classmates and fellow alumni, Erik’s fund was established and fully endowed within one year of its creation. With the success of The Klassic in its inaugural year, 2008, Erik’s fund grew, enabling the annual, need-based support of two Gonzaga students from military families. The 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Klassics were so successful that the fund now supports three students.
Our three students on scholarship:
- One student transitioned very well to the rank of upperclassman. He competed for the Purple and White on both the cross country and rugby teams. He continued to challenge himself by taking A.P. United States History and two honors classes. He once again found himself at the top of the Dean’s List for multiple marking periods.
- A second student continues to excel on Eye Street and pushes himself both physically and academically. Last year, he took three honors courses and continued his choral arts studies. He once again earned first honors on the Dean’s List every semester. He did this while leading on both the cross country and track and field teams. He also participated in the Emmitsburg summer service program.
- Our third student continued to make a name for himself by taking an honors course and continuing his pursuit of a better understanding of music as a member of the prestigious Gonzaga Symphonic Band. All of his teachers have great things to say about him. His math teacher recently stated that “he is a very hard worker that always contributes in class. He is well liked by his peers and is a joy to teach.”
Thank you for giving these students, all men for others, the opportunity to follow in Erik’s footsteps.