The sudden death last year of 36-year-old sociologist Lionel Cantú stunned his family, friends, and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who have established a memorial scholarship fund to honor Cantú's life and work. The first scholarships will be presented during a celebration of Cantu's life on Friday, May 30.
Cantú, an assistant professor of sociology at UCSC, died of cardiac arrest May 26, 2002, while hospitalized after suffering a ruptured intestine earlier in the week.
Funded by more than $10,000 in contributions in Cantú's memory, the Lionel Cantú Memorial Award Fund was established to support graduate students who are pursuing studies in one or more of the areas in which Cantú worked: immigration studies, transnational/cross-border studies, Latino/Latina sociology, gender and sexuality, and gay men and masculinity. The fund will be administered by the UCSC Chicano/Latino Research Center (CLRC).
The first recipient of the Lionel Cantú Memorial Award Fund will be named during a May 30 tribute, "A Celebration of Life: Lionel Cantú as Scholar, Mentor and Activist." Craig Reinarman, a professor of sociology and chair of the Sociology Department, will announce the recipient during a memorial gathering from 3 to 5 p.m. on the lawn adjacent to College Eight.
The day's celebration will also include a sociology colloquium--presented by several of Cantú's graduate students on the significance of his mentoring and activism--from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Red Room at College Eight. Cantú's parents will present UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood with Cantú's library and papers, which will be permanently housed at the Women's Studies Library at Kresge College on the UCSC campus.
In addition to the UCSC memorial fund, the UC Office of the President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program has created The Lionel Cantú Memorial Fellowship to recognize Cantú's support of the fellowship program. Each year, a Lionel Cantú Postdoctoral Fellow engaged in research on international migration, HIV/AIDS, Latino/a Studies, Feminist Studies, or Queer Theory will be named.