5K walk/run to honor VT shooting victim, Penn State alumnus Jeremy Herbstritt

University Park, Pa. -- A 5K walk/run in memory of Jeremy Herbstritt, who died during the Virginia Tech shootings, will take place at 2 p.m. on May 5 starting at the Intramural Building on the University Park campus. All proceeds from the event, named the Jeremy Herbstritt Memorial 5K Walk/Run, will go to the United Way Memorial Fund for Jeremy Herbstritt.

Advanced registration is $10. People may register in advance by downloading a PDF form at http://www.engr.psu.edu/Herbstritt_5K.pdf or http://www.nvrun.com/calendar.html online. Participants also may register at the event from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Commemorative T-shirts with proceeds going to the Herbstritt fund also will be available at the race.

The idea for an event originated from Heather Wittmer, a 2006 civil engineering graduate and a Herbstritt classmate now living in Arizona, and received strong support from the students, faculty and staff in civil engineering.

Because Herbstritt was an avid runner, it was decided a race was the most appropriate idea. Kris Murchie, a civil engineering student, and Jay Regan, an assistant professor of civil engineering, volunteered to turn the race into reality.

"Just like everyone else, I had the need to do something to help out in any way possible," said Murchie, who also serves as the president of the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and membership chair of the Penn State student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. "Heather's idea took off with a surge of support from people all over the community, and we hope this race will pay proper tribute to such a great guy as Jeremy."

Regan added, "Jeremy will be remembered by those who knew him as always having a smile, a positive attitude and an energetic spring in his step. This race is to honor Jeremy's passion, as well as his family, who no doubt played a critical role in shaping his character."

Herbstritt, 27, was a 1998 Bellefonte Area High School graduate. He held degrees in civil engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology from Penn State. As a student, Herbstritt was an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and holder of the Dean Meyers Memorial Scholarship in Civil Engineering.

At the time of the shooting, he was working on a graduate degree in civil engineering at Virginia Tech.

Herbstritt's father, Michael, is a long-standing employee of the University's Office of Physical Plant. Herbstritt also is survived by his mother, Peggy, and three younger siblings, Jennifer, Joseph and Stephanie.

The United Way Memorial Fund for Jeremy Herbstritt was established shortly after the shootings through an effort by the Office of Physical Plant, Centre County United Way and the Nittany Bank on South Atherton Street. No administrative fees are charged for the fund and 100 percent of the donations will go to the Herbstritt family.

Those who cannot attend the race may donate directly to the fund at http://www.ccunitedway.org/index.html online. Donations should be marked to "The Jeremy Herbstritt Memorial Fund."

More information on the race can be found by contacting Murchie at kzm113@psu.edu or (814) 863-8701 or Regan at jmr41@psu.edu or (814) 865-9436. A map of the race route can be accessed at http://www.nvrun.com/campusloop5k.html online.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009