AU Press Releases

Alfred University creates 'book fund' in memory of two alumni who were killed in Aug. 2 Long Island Expressway car crash

Friends and classmates of  two Alfred University alumni who were killed in a car crash on  the Long Island Expressway during the early-morning hours of Aug. 2 are creating a “book fund” as a memorial to them.

Anwar Ruiz, a 2006 graduate of the School of Art & Design at Alfred University, and Haki Nkrumah, who attended AU as a member of the class of 2008, died of injuries sustained in the crash.

            Word quickly spread through the AU alumni network on Facebook, and crowd-funding campaigns were started to assist the families of the two young men with their funeral expenses.

            But some alumni and friends wanted a more permanent reminder of their lives, and suggested that Alfred University create a memorial fund in their names.

            Nadine Shardlow, director of the Arthur E. Eve Opportunity Program at Alfred University, came up with the idea of a book fund, to be administered by the Division of Student Affairs.

             Ruiz entered Alfred through the Opportunity Program, and Nkrumah was friends with many of the students in the program, so creating a fund in their names that would help current students was appealing.

             “To those that had the privilege to meet and befriend this man of positivity (Ruiz)  you will fondly remember that you could never be in a bad mood around him,” Shardlow recalled. “He wanted all to be happy; his smile was infectious.”

            Nkrumah was a member of the men’s tennis team at Alfred, following in the footstep of his grandmother, Annie Boucher, a member of the Class of 1992 and a member of the AU Hall of Fame.

            “As an alumna of Alfred University and grandmother of Haki Nkrumah, I want to sincerely thank you for this high honor you have bestowed on my grandson,” Boucher said in an email to Alfred University.

            “Haki was a terrific person and remains so in our hearts and minds. The book fund honoring Anwar and Haki, will keep the work and spirit of these wonderful young men alive and present in the lives of those who will never meet them but who will be touched by what resulted of their lives.

            “Please extend my family’s appreciation of this honor to all concerned.  We will be hosting a Memorial Celebration for Haki on Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 3 pm. The venue will be, Occasions Banquet Hall, located at 127-08 Merrick Blvd., Springfield Gardens, New York 11434.  It goes without saying that members of the AU community residing in the Queens county area are welcome to drop in.  It’s a celebration.”

            The textbook fund in memory of Ruiz and Nkrumah will help support Opportunity Program students tackle the expenses associated with textbooks and materials needed to help them reach their educational goals, Shardlow explained.

            Donations to the Ruiz-Nkrumah Book Fund may be made online at; please indicate on the form that the gift is in memory of Ruiz and Nkrumah. Gifts may also be mailed to the fund at Alfred University, University Relations Division, 1 Saxon Drive, Alfred, NY 14802.