BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS –JULY 29,
-– Nine years ago, Sonia
Cunningham’s life changed.
Keith A. Ferguson
Her son Keith, a New York City police officer, suffered a heart
attack while responding to a fellow officer’s call for assistance. He was 38.
Cunningham, an Associate
Professor of Nursing at The
University of Texas at Brownsville recalled she first got angry. But then
she got moving.
Within days of her son’s funeral, an event that drew 10,000
mourners to a church in Manhattan, Cunningham had launched the Keith
A. Ferguson Scholarship Endowment for Criminal Justice in honor of her
beloved oldest child.
Sonia Cunningham congratulates one of the participants in the race last year.!
Cunningham turned her tragic loss in to something positive.
She calls her work a journey.
“With the exception of my son’s absence,
it is the best thing that ever happened to me. It teaches you to do things
differently, not necessarily better,” said Cunningham. “I am not going to say it’s
a better life now, but it’s a different life in a positive way.”
Some of the funds raised for the endowment come from the Keith A.
Ferguson Memorial 5 K Run/Walk in New York City. It is traditionally held near
Ferguson’s birthday on August 8.
event has grown from a few hundred participants the first year in 2004 to now
more than 1000 runners and walkers. Participants will
experience some of the most breathtaking and spectacular views of the city.
still can’t believe my good fortune that the race has now grown legs and taken
off. It has a life of its own. It really has,” said Cunningham.
Runners crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
friends and coworkers will again gather at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4 on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Registration
begins at 6:30 a.m. Click
here to register.
The Keith A. Ferguson Scholarship Endowment for Criminal
Justice has awarded 37 students scholarships since it was
For more information, call the UTB Office of University
Relations at 956-882-4322. To make a gift
online, please visit utb.edu/giving.