Lingzi Lu’s family remembers her as the “joy of [their] lives,” an ambitious young woman, full of dreams and hopes and love for her friends and family.
All that spirit, all that life, was cut tragically short Monday, April 15, when Lu, 23, was killed in the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, a terrorist act that also claimed the lives of 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, of Medford.
In an open letter, Lu’s family said Lu "was a bright and wonderful child."
"We were thrilled to watch her grow into an intelligent and beautiful young woman," the letter reads. "She was a positive role model for many others."
It was her dream to study in the United States, according to the letter. She was realizing that dream as a graduate student at Boston University where she was studying statistics, according to her LinkedIn profile.
“She wanted to play a role in international business, specializing in applied mathematics,” the letter reads. “She has been studying very hard toward her goal. Sadly, it was not to be.”
In her short 23 years, according to the Boston Herald, Lu worked passionately to achieve her goals, pursuing academic excellence at a competitive high school in her home city of Shenyang, China, before attending the Beijing Institute of Technology on her way to BU.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Lu had already made connections with such prestigious firms as Deloitte, where she worked as a manager assistant in late 2011, and the Bank of China, where she interned in the summer of 2010.
Tasso Kaper, chairman of mathematics and statistics, told the Boston Globe that Lu was a "very smart student" and a "very bright young scientist."
“It’s a tragic loss for us,” Kaper told the Globe, going on to explain that Lu was talkative and tightly connected to a few close friends.
“She was really the spokesman of the group,” Kaper told the Globe. “The word bubbly maybe is kind of a corny word, but, yeah, that’s what describes her.”
And she loved the city of Boston, according to her family.
“While she was here, she fell in love with Boston and its people. She loved her new friends and her professors at Boston University.”
Her story and her life have brought thousands to a Facebook page dedicated to her memory, which had nearly 7,800 Likes as of Saturday morning.
Lu’s family is hopeful that her life can serve as an example and encouragement to others as they pursue their own dreams.
“We hope that everyone who knew Lingzi, and experienced the positive spirit and joy she had, will help carry on her spirit,” the letter reads. “We hope that everyone who has now heard about Lingzi will keep a memory of her in their hearts.”
For their part, Boston University has already taken steps to carry on Lu’s memory at the school, acting quickly to endow a memorial a scholarship in her name.
In an article in BU Today, university trustee Kenneth Feld, who proposed the scholarship at a Wednesday meeting of the executive committee of the Campaign for BU, explained that the scholarship was “A fitting tribute and the right thing to do.”
By the time the meeting adjourned Wednesday, trustees had committed $560,000 to the fund.
“While her dream has not been realized, we want to encourage others who have Lingzi’s ambition and dreams, and want to make the world a better place, to continue moving forward,” her family says.
Boston University has scheduled a memorial service for Lu on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. in the George Sherman Union Metcalf Ballroom. The service is open to the public, but seating will be first-come, first-served.