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Lori Hacking scholarship fund gets a boost

Eccles family gives $20,000, bringing total to $160,000

The scholarship fund for Lori Hacking received another boost Wednesday courtesy of Spencer F. Eccles and family.

Eccles awarded the Lori Kay Soares Hacking fund with a $10,000 grant from the George S. and Dolores Dor Eccles Foundation, which he and wife Cleone Eccles then matched with another $10,000. Eccles, who is chairman of the foundation, made the gift over breakfast Wednesday with University of Utah President Michael K. Young.

Hacking, 27, a 1999 cum laude graduate of the David Eccles School of Business at the U., was allegedly shot and killed by her husband on July 19. Her mother, Thelma Soares, initiated the scholarship in August with $12,500 in donations given to help aid with a search effort for Hacking, who was initially believed to be missing.

The young woman's remains were discovered in a Salt Lake Valley landfill on Oct. 1.

The Eccles' contribution raises the fund balance to just under $160,000 in contributions and pledges, U. development officer Carolyn Buma said.

"We have been touched, as have so many others, by the tragic loss of such a remarkable young woman," Eccles wrote in a letter to Young, a copy of which was obtained by the Deseret Morning News. "We hope our grant, combined with those of others will enable this scholarship to serve not only as a special, ongoing tribute to Lori, but also an important vehicle for other outstanding young women who face challenges in their lives to reach their goals through a business-related education at the U."

National media attention has helped the scholarship fund grow quickly, including a $50,000 contribution from Oprah Winfrey, on whose program Soares appeared in September. Within days, viewers grew the fund to more than $130,000.

The grant will be awarded annually to at least one student and will cover the cost of the junior and senior years of study.

Lori Hacking was initially reported missing to police by her husband, Mark Hacking, who told police his wife had not returned from a morning jog. A weeklong community search for the Wells Fargo stockbroker's assistant proved fruitless.

Mark Hacking, 28, has allegedly confessed to relatives that he shot and killed his wife as she slept after an argument. He is now in the Salt Lake County Jail, facing first-degree felony charges of murder and second-degree felony charges of obstruction of justice.

Contributions to the Lori Kay Soares Hacking Scholarship Fund continue to be accepted, and each dollar helps to endow the scholarship in perpetuity. Information is available at www.ugive.utah.edu and www.rememberlori.com.


E-mail: jdobner@desnews.com