UC Santa Barbara recently awarded two students with $4,000 in tuition assistance as part of a new scholarship commemorating the death of Lucas Ransom, a UCSB student killed in an October 2010 shark attack.

The Lucas Ransom Memorial Scholarship was established by the Ransom family to honor their son’s achievements and provide financial assistance to UCSB students. Third-year chemistry majors James G. Stanfill from Oxnard and John Scott from Redding were the recipients of the inaugural award at a ceremony on June 15.

Ransom was a third-year UCSB student, competitive swimmer, lifeguard and water polo player from Riverside County. The 19 year-old chemical engineering major planned to attend graduate school in pharmacology prior to the fatal attack while body-boarding in northern Santa Barbara County.

Scott earned his associate degree from Shasta College in Spring 2010 before transferring to UCSB. The 27 year-old currently volunteers at a local physical therapy center and aspires to be a teacher. Stanfill was a lifeguard instructor and competitive water polo player prior to his UCSB acceptance. The third-year chemistry major is co-president of the UCSB Chemistry Club and hopes to use his teaching skills to become a professor.

Lucas’ mother Candace Ransom said she felt honored to be a part of such an inspirational scholarship.

“This is so meaningful and poignant, because Lucas would have been graduating, but, also, this is a celebration,” Ransom said in a press release. “The dream that Lucas had to help others is in the hearts and minds of these students, and they will have the opportunity to continue on where Lucas didn’t get to … They have a lot of gifts and talents, and we hope they will go out and make a big difference in other people’s lives.”

—Staff Report