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April 12, 1999

Campus memorial for Terrence Freitas set for April 24

By Jennifer McNulty

A memorial service for Terrence Freitas, the graduate of UC Santa Cruz who was slain in Venezuela while working on behalf of an indigenous group, has been scheduled for Saturday, April 24, at 1 p.m. in the Crown College Dining Commons. The public is invited to attend the service, which will be followed by a reception.

Freitas's parents both plan to attend the service, and his mother, Julie, will address the gathering. Freitas, a biology and environmental studies major who graduated in 1997, was working to preserve the culture of the U'wa, an indigenous group in Colombia, when he and two colleagues were kidnapped on February 25. Their bodies were found just across the border in Venezuela a few days later. No suspects in the slayings have been apprehended.

The memorial is being organized by Crown College, where Freitas was a student and an active member of the community, said Imogen Church, acting college administrative officer at Crown. "We're inviting all of Terry's classmates from the classes of 1996 and 1997, and anyone who knew him," said Church, who was Freitas's supervisor as well as a close friend.

In addition to Julie Freitas, other speakers at the memorial will include Léo Laporte, professor emeritus of earth sciences and the former provost of Crown College, with whom Freitas redesigned the Crown core course.

Freitas was involved with numerous campus activities, as well, including working with the rape-prevention program and teaching women's self-defense classes. "He did a lot for the whole campus," said Church. "A lot of people took classes from him."

Crown College is naming its college service award after Freitas, said Church. The award is presented each year to graduating seniors in recognition of their contributions to the college.

An endowment in Freitas's name has been established to support the research of undergraduate students in environmental studies. Relatives and friends of the Freitas family have pledged $10,000 to create the fund. Anyone interested in contributing to the fund is encouraged to call Christina Valentino, director of development for the Division of Social Sciences, at (831) 459-3857.

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