Victim's family keeps her memory alive

Family to award Ryanne Mace Scholarship
February 13, 2009 8:16:49 PM PST
The family of Ryanne Mace, who was killed during the NIU shooting one year ago on Valentine's Day, has set up a scholarship in her name. All week, ABC7 has been bringing you the stories of how victims and university officials are moving on and learning from the tragedy. On Friday, the parents of one of the five students who were killed is making sure their daughter is not forgotten.

Photographs of 19-year-old Ryanne Mace capture childhood memories, big high school moments and what her parents call a focused student who also had fun.

"But she was a stone cold goof. She had one of the quirkiest senses of humor I had ever seen," said Eric Mace, victim's father.

Eric Mace says shortly after he lost his daughter to the NIU gunman, people started donating money for the funeral expenses. Instead he decided to use that money- and raise more- for the Ryanne Mace Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will help students in Ryanne's field.

"We really wanted it to be towards something Ryanne wanted to do. She was a psychology major. She had every intent of getting a doctorate level degree in psychology and being a counselor. And, ironically enough, that type of person could have helped the person who took her life and deal with his problems better," said Eric Mace.

The Maces believe there was nothing NIU officials could have done to prevent the shooting, which is documented by articles in the family's memory book.

"He walked in their concealing his weapons in a guitar case I think a university campus should be an open atmosphere with free ideas, learning, not like a prison camp," said Mary Kay Mace, victim's mother.

Instead of placing blame, the Maces said they want to focus on their daughter's warm personality and smile, which they say brightened the day.

"I'll see something driving down the road that's quirky and silly . I'll think I wish Ryanne was here she would have loved that," said Eric Mace.

The Mace family plans to award the first Ryanne Mace Memorial Scholarship in the fall, if not the spring.

Information on the Ryanne Mace Memorial Scholarship Fund