Eugene Kinasewich died on February 23,2005, after a long, courageous
bout with cancer.
He was one of fourteen children of first generation immigrant Ukrainian
parents. He was orphaned at the age of ten. He grew up in Edmonton,
Alberta, being raised by his siblings.
From an early age Gene showed great talent and promise academically and
athletically. With help in significant part from his brother, Orie,
and Jim Lombard, he attended Deerfield Academy in Deerfield,
Massachusetts and Harvard College on full scholarships. He graduated
from Harvard College magna Cum Laude, went on to earn two Masters
Degrees and a Doctorate, and became one of the youngest Deans in
His hockey career was equally distinguished. He was an All American
and in one of his most noted games won Most Valuable Player recognition
in leading Harvard to their first ECAC championship.
Inspired by the cultural impact of his educational and athletic
experiences, Gene appreciated not only the individual benefits of his
opportunities but also how understanding differences and shared goals
could contribute to a safer world with greater economic opportunity for
all people. Seeing barriers between countries, Gene dreamed of
Hockey provided a start, a base from which people who shared a similar
commitment to a sport could develop appreciation for each other, their
respective cultures and ultimately the mutual benefits of improved
communications, interaction and cooperation.
In 1973 Gene and former teammate tim Taylor led a group of American
hockey players to compete against teams in the Soviet Union. He saw
first hand the need for educational opportunities like those he had
experienced at Deerfield and became committed to developing scholarship
and travel opportunities for young people from Ukraine and other
countries to study in America as he had. The Fund has been established
for that very purpose.
Focusing its initial aid programs on the student athletes from Ukraine
with whom Gene was working at the time of his death, the Fund,
incorporated in February 2005, has raised over $400,000. These funds
enable students to receive scholarships they would never have been able
to apply for or accept without this type of financial assistance and
mentoring by people who share Gene's vision. An initial investment of
$135,000 has been leveraged into more than $425,000 in scholarships.
Expenses for travel visas, medical exams and insurance, security
clearances, travel and other personal expenses preclude those without
means to apply for the opportunities that could exist for them in this
country. By paying these costs the Fund has enabled 18 Ukrainian
students to enroll in private and public high schools in the Northeast
region of the United States.
The goal is to create a permanent endowment of at least $1.0 million to
support the needs of students like those being assisted this year. As
the Fund evolves, so could its class of students, geographical range,
and financial reach. The first of the many bridges Gene dreamed about
is under construction. With your help it can be completed and others