Runners fund scholarship in memory of student

By James DelVesco

Students gathered for the University’s first charity run on record in Washington Park on Sunday, raising nearly $9,000 for a future scholarship fund in memory of U of C student Ian Woo Cumings.

The Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity organized the five-kilometer run to honor Cumings, a DKE brother who died in a car crash in Virginia in June 2010, the summer after his third year.

“Through his passing we’ve come together and formed stronger bonds. This event symbolizes that coming together. We had five alumni runners and donations from 10 [alumni],” said fourth-year Nick Duque, who organized the event.

The run rounded off DKE Week, DKE’s annual week of events, which included Battle of the Bands and a Walt Whitman poetry reading. All proceeds from the run went toward establishing the Ian Woo Cumings Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship, though not yet been endowed by the University, will be need-based and available to undergraduates. The final amount has not been decided, but the University will endow the scholarship when it reaches $100,000, according to Duque. The fund was started in 2010 by Cumings’s father Bruce.

Duque said that Cumings was a beloved member of the fraternity.

“I remember his incredible power to bring calm to a situation,” he said. “I was in a fight with another brother and he could make us see eye-to-eye. He was the glue in social situations.”

About 85 people participated in the run, exceeding DKE’s initial goal of 50. Because it also surpassed DKE’s fundraising goal of $1,000, the fraternity is likely to continue the run in future years.

Second-year DKE pledge Alexis Onfroy finished first with a time of 19:07. First-year Andrew Angeles and second-year DKE pledge Alec Ontiveros placed second and third in the men’s division, respectively. First-year Kelsey McGillis won the women’s division with a time of 21:36, followed by DKE supporter Jennifer Hendersen and first-year Amanda Dobbyn.

“I had my doubts that waking up about five hours earlier than I normally would on a Sunday morning to run around Washington Park would be an experience I would want to repeat,” Dobbyn said. “I was totally wrong.”

She attributed the event’s success to DKE’s commitment to honoring their fallen brother.

“I thought the DKE brothers went above and beyond organizing the run and the cookout afterwards. You could tell that Ian Woo Cumings really meant something to them on a deep, brotherly level and I think that’s what made the memorial run so successful,” Dobbyn said.