September 22 2016

Scholarship Fund Created in Memory of Brianna Gainley, a BHS Alum


A scholarship fund has been set up in honor of a Burlington High School alum who died tragically young. 


On March 18, 2016, BHS Alum, Brianna Gainley, became the first graduate of UMass Lowell's Class of 2016 during a special ceremony set up just for her after she received news from her doctor that her time was growing short.  Five weeks later, on April 23, Brianna passed away after a valiant five year battle against osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. 


Following her untimely death, the "Brianna T. Gainley and Ryan C. Hart Teamwork Scholarship Fund" was established by the Gainley family and UMass Lowell in memory of Brianna, BHS Principal Mark Sullivan said in a blog post. UMass Lowell will use proceeds from the fund to provide an annual scholarship to sophomore, junior, and senior students pursuing a degree in computer science at the University.  


Ryan Hart was Gainley’s new husband, who was with her throughout the special graduation ceremony and through her illness. The couple met during their freshman year. 


Brianna's family and friends have also formed "Team Brianna" to run the Bay State half marathon in Lowell on October 16. Members of "Team Brianna" will be running in memory and honor of Brianna — UML's first Class of ’16 graduate — and the teamwork between Brianna and her partner, Ryan.  The purposes of "Team Brianna" are to:


- Continue remembering Brianna and how she enriched people's lives, and to never forget the strength, perseverance, determination and courage that she displayed under adverse circumstances


- Support the women in technology initiative


- Support UMass Lowell's mission, and to help provide financial assistance to future generations of UML students who share Brianna's dedication to pursuing their education and completing their CS degree


If you would like to remember Brianna by making a tax deductible donation of any amount to the UML scholarship fund that was established in Brianna's name, please consider visiting the online "Support UMass Lowell" page and selecting the "New Gift" button. 


Photos credited to University of Massachusetts, Lowell 

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