The Light and Life of Steven Sotloff
On Monday, Nov. 16, UCF journalism students had the honor of hearing from the parents of Steven Sotloff, a former UCF journalism student who lost his life at the hands of militants in Syria during the prime of his young journalism career. Art and Shirley Sotloff presented the life and legacy of their son, commemorating his courage, his example, and his commitment to the profession of journalism.
Steven was a journalist who felt compelled to travel to war zones like Libya and Syria to give a voice to the voiceless. His passion for his work, his warm heart, inclusive spirit and unbounded generosity took him to places where few went. When Steven was brutally murdered by the Islamic State group last September, the world lost a courageous, passionate and principled journalist.
While Steven was in captivity he managed to smuggle out a letter to his parents stating he wanted to give back. To continue Steven’s legacy for generations to come, the Sotloff family has established the Steven Sotloff Memorial Endowed Fund at UCF, where Steven studied journalism from 2002 to 2004.
The fund will provide scholarship support to UCF students majoring in journalism as well as funding for symposia, lectures and other programming to advance journalism and journalism education. Tony and Sonja Nicholson, longtime UCF donors for whom the Nicholson School of Communication is named, have made a commitment to match gifts to the fund up to $25,000.
Rick Brunson, associate instructor of journalism at UCF, began the evening of commemoration with an introduction of Steven’s legacy, his parents, and their mission. Following Art and Shirley’s presentation, “The Life and Light of Steven Sotloff,” the floor opened to students’ questions. A reception hosted by the UCF Nicholson School of Communication and the UCF College of Sciences was held following the presentation.
The Sotloffs have also established the 2LIVES Foundation to provide both endowed and individual scholarships for journalism and liberal arts students who have the passion and desire to pursue a career in journalism. Their mission is to eventually establish support and assistance to journalists and their families affected by the realities of reporting from conflict-torn settings.
See original article on the UCF College of Sciences’ blog.