- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 21, 2017

Chris Cornell will be memorialized with a scholarship fund worth more than $1 million meant for law students looking to attend the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA announced Thursday.

The Chris Cornell Scholarship will support student scholarships at UCLA School of Law in honor of the late singer’s “commitment to justice, human rights and advocacy for those in need,” according to a press release announcing the creation of the fund.

“This endowment honors an influential musical artist who cared about human rights and enables others the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement.

The fund is a “paying tribute to Chris Cornell’s tremendous legacy,” added UCLA Law Dean Jennifer Mnookin.

Cornell, 52, fronted rock bands including Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave prior to passing away in May as the result of an apparent suicide. He also actively supported several charities and humanitarian causes, and he fundraised in the weeks before his death for organizations including Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere and the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit that helps resettle refugees.

“The Promise,” Cornell’s final single, is the theme for a feature film of the same name about the Armenian genocide. He donated all the proceeds from the song to the International Rescue Committee following its release in March, and the following month he visited one of its refugee camps in Athens, Greece.

The scholarship in the singer’s name is being spearheaded by his widow, Vicky Cornell, and backed by a coalition of several her husband’s friends and colleagues in addition to supporters of UCLA Law, according to the press release.

“My husband and I agreed that given the opportunity of education, people have the power to change the world,” said Mrs. Cornell. “UCLA School of Law is an institution known for its academic excellence and we are proud the Chris Cornell Scholarship will provide funding for future students and future leaders of the world of Dean Mnookin and Chancellor Block,” she said in a statement.

The endowed fund is part of a $4.2-billion “UCLA Centennial Campaign” scheduled to conclude in December 2019, the press release said.

Cornell was honored at the Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Voices for Justice celebration last month, and more recently he was posthumously nominated for a Grammy Award for “The Promise” – his 16th Grammy nod since receiving his first in 1990 for Soundgarden’s “Ultramega OK” record.

Cornell formed Soundgarden in Seattle in 1984 and helped put both the band and the city at the center of the budding grunge rock genre. The group broke up in 1997, but had re-formed when Cornell was found dead inside his Detroit hotel room May 18. A coroner’s report subsequently declared Cornell’s death a suicide by hanging.

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