May 13, 2011 9:15:00 AM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Former University of Alabama football player Shannon Brown has established a scholarship in honor of his daughter, who was killed by the tornado that struck Tuscaloosa on April 27.
Brown said candidates for the Loryn Alexandria Brown Memorial Endowed Scholarship need to embody some of her own qualities.
"We definitely know that the applicants need to be Christian applicants, they need to be working," Brown told The Tuscaloosa News in a story Thursday. "We want to try to honor a student that wants to further their education at the University of Alabama, but also knows what Loryn stood for and her work ethic, and the kind of person she was."
Brown said his daughter had taken classes at Shelton State and been accepted to start at Alabama in August.
"She wanted to graduate from where her daddy did. She was very passionate about that. She worked," Brown said. "She didn''t have to, but her mother and I made her work to help her understand the value of a dollar."
Brown said the university will formally set up the criteria and a member of his family will be on the selection committee. An Alabama alumni chapter and several supporters have agreed to match donations.
Gene Stallings, who coached Brown at Alabama, attended Loryn Brown''s funeral in Wetumpka. So did athletic director Mal Moore, who recruited Brown while he was an assistant coach.
"The football family has reached out to me and my family more than you can possibly imagine," Brown said. "It''s important for people to understand that in times like this, people reach out. It''s been just phenomenal."
Brown was in Madison when the tornado struck and at first didn''t know that his daughter had been in the path. He drove to Tuscaloosa after receiving phone calls from people concerned about her.
"I was in contact with my dad. He was one of the first ones in," Brown said. "My dad''s got heavy equipment, bucket trucks and tractors. He was moving trees out of the way, monster trees, telephone poles, wires, to try to get back to my daughter''s house. If it wasn''t for him we wouldn''t have found her as soon as we did," Brown said. "The toughest thing I had to do as a father? I was there when they pulled her out, and I had to identify my little girl''s body. That''s something nobody should have to do."
Donations to the fund can be sent to National Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 861928, Tuscaloosa, Ala., 35486.