Pacific Lutheran University will posthumously award a degree to a student from Eatonville who died a year short of graduating.
Julia Ann Rutherford was about to enter her senior year at PLU when she died July 3, 2011 after falling into a crevasse while hiking at Aasgard Pass near Leavenworth.
The university’s Board of Regents, with encouragement from the PLU natural sciences division, is designating Rutherford as a graduating member of the 2012 class by awarding a magna cum laude bachelor of science degree with a double major in chemistry and physics and a minor in math.
Rutherford, who was considered an outstanding student in college, graduated from Eatonville High School in 2008 as a National Merit Scholar.
Her parents are arranging a scholarship in her name to be awarded to Eatonville High graduates who are planning a career in science. Her mother, Bert Rutherford, said donations to help permanently fund the scholarship can be sent to Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 1155, Eatonville, WA 98328. The local chapter of Dollars for Scholars raises money for scholarlships for Eatonville students.