The day after family and friends gathered at Patriots Park to dedicate a tree in memory of the late Tariq Fischer, the Pennsylvania college he attended announced that his parents have made a major donation in his memory.
Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, Pa., announced Monday that Drs. Paul and Asma Fischer, of Martinez, have pledged more than $1 million in memory of Tariq, who died along with two friends in a July 13 car crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County.
Tariq, 19, was a freshman at Swarthmore, a 2004 graduate of Lakeside High School and a writer for The Columbia County News-Times.
In Swarthmore's announcement of the pledge, the college quotes a letter to Swarthmore President Alfred H. Bloom from the Fischers, who wrote: "Tariq loved his friends at Swarthmore. He loved his involvement in sports. He loved writing for The Phoenix. And he loved Islam. We will have some peace if his inheritance is invested by Swarthmore to honor these things that he loved."
The college's announcement says, "The bulk of the Fischers' gift, $1 million, will be used to support the development of the college's Islamic Studies program," and quotes Asma Fischer as saying, "There is a tradition in Islam called Sadaqa-e Jariya, where Muslims are encouraged to set up educational facilities or programs that will continue to benefit people even after the donors are gone.
"We hope this endowment will continue to benefit students, many of whom will become future leaders, in understanding Islam and Muslims and bring harmony between the people of the world."
The remainder of the donation, the announcement says, will be used for improvements to Swarthmore's soccer field press box, for The Phoenix and for Paces, a student club.
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