First on 5: U of M students receive inaugural Tom Burnett scholarships in honor of 9/11 hero

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Twenty-one years after one man’s heroic actions on Sept. 11 aboard United Airlines Flight 93, his legacy of leadership lives on at the University of Minnesota.

On 9/11, University of Minnesota alum Tom Burnett died among the group of passengers who brought down the plane headed for Washington, D.C. after they decided to fight back against the terrorists who hijacked the plane.

A Carlson School of Management scholarship was announced in Burnett’s name in fall 2021 – the latest initiative through the Tom Burnett Family Foundation – and two students received notice of the first ever Burnett scholarships through the school this past week.

In a First on 5 interview, scholarship recipient Chas Gould told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS what students are still learning from Burnett’s sacrifice, regardless of the age they were during the Sept. 11 attacks.

“It’s just amazing to me how someone could show so much courage in that moment, and so much leadership, and selflessness,” Gould said.

Gould and other recipients are set to receive $20,000 over four years.

Burnett’s sister, Martha Burnett Pettee, expressed her family’s vision for the scholarship in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

“We really hope that these students will exhibit the moral courage, the integrity and the civic-minded leadership that Tom was all about,” Pettee said.

Visit these links to learn more about the Tom Burnett Family Foundation and its U of M projects.

Anyone interested in donating to the new scholarship can do so here.