Victor I. Moraru Memorial Fund
Est. 2020 by Ioana Barac and Dr. Ion I. Moraru
This fund was made possible through the collective generosity of family and friends of Victor and his parents Ioana Barac and Dr. Ion I. Moraru.
Victor’s complex personality drew roots from two different cultures: the Romanian one, inherited from us, his parents, and his native one, American. On both sides of the ocean he will be remembered for his brilliant mind, his free spirit, unapologetic humor, and his capacity for unconditional love.
Victor had an inborn restlessness and yearning for comprehending the universe and his place in it which led him to constantly search for excitement and meaning in multiple ways. In middle school he was an avid reader of history and fantasy, played the trumpet in the Honor Band and Jazz Band, and fell in love with Spanish, earning induction in the Spanish Honor Society; in High School he enjoyed college-level business classes, the People’s Court and the Broadcasting Club; at UConn he pursued his interests in anthropology and marine sciences. He practiced karate, soccer and e-games, relished in comedy and philosophy, hiking and sailing, and was a passionate listener of music, delighting in Bach as much as in Rap and Reggae.
Funny, bright and opinionated, Victor lived and loved on his own terms. He unabashedly chose public school over private school and invested only in the subjects and activities that interested him. He valued spiritual and emotional honesty and disdained labels and judgments.
He loved the world with its civilizations, mountains and oceans. But first and foremost, Victor cherished connection. He occasioned long, passionate conversations, and found great meaning in being with his young and old friends in times of fun and in times of need. He built deep, lasting bonds with highly diverse groups and individuals and was their common ground and meeting place. Open to people and experiences, he discovered the undeniable impact of economic hardship, mental health issues, and discrimination on those around him.
Victor lived in the moment and struggled with planning for the future – always weary of ”joining the rat race” – but he had big dreams of sailing the world, building wealth and coming home to support his hometown’s schools and communities.
In celebration of Victor's 23rd birthday we would like to share with you a long awaited update about the scholarship you made possible.
As some of you may know, last year Victor's memorial fund reached the 10,000$ goal. The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven could thus disburse the first scholarship award to Francis T. Maloney High School in Meriden, where Victor graduated in 2018.
His professors and guidance counselor convened and, trying to decide among those in the graduating class who most closely reminded them of Victor, they ended up selecting two: Daniel Ruggeiro and Cameron Anderson. These are the notes their teachers shared with us:
"I met Cameron when he was at Washington Middle School. We had gone on a field trip to the New Britain Museum of Art with students from Maloney and Washington. When looking at and discussing the artwork at the museum, I was impressed with Cameron's observations, insight into the artwork, his vocabulary and his ability to articulate his ideas in front of high school students he did not know, adults, the museum docent, etc. I speak for all of the art teachers when I share that Cameron was one of the most artistically talented students to come through Maloney (in my 24 years of teaching). His skill level was advanced and he worked constantly to improve his skills. He was very open to critique of his work and sought out feedback. Cameron is a very humble young man. Also, so kind to his classmates, teachers and all support staff. Cameron was a helper in my adaptive art class, working with students with special needs. He was enthusiastic and encouraging to his peers in that setting. Cameron is currently studying studio art at University of Hartford, Hartford Art School."
— Jessica Sperry, Fine Arts Department Leader at Francis T. Maloney High School
"Daniel was a student who liked to be challenged, but he also enjoyed challenging others - challenging them in their thinking, and pressing into them with the counter point of view. Daniel always had thoughtful and intelligent questions that would push his class. Daniel is an intelligent student who is studying Engineering at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Daniel was not interested in the final score on a test, or achieving the highest rank or GPA, nor did he worry about the SAT’s. This is not to say he wasn’t always in the learner stance. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed intellectual discourse and debate, but always respectful and appropriate. Daniel participated in Maloney’s most rigorous course offerings and although he didn’t worry about “scores” and grades he did worry about accomplishing his goals. He always had tremendous faith in himself and he had a firm belief that some of the constructs of the educational system missed the point when it came to developing, building and inspiring young minds. Daniel liked school, but it was the relationships with his teachers and classmates that he enjoyed the most. I have no doubt Daniel will go on to finish college and carve out a successful career path, but I know he will live life on his terms and he will always seek to enjoy what he is doing."
— Yesenia Diaz Gallindo, School Counselor at Francis T. Maloney High School
I have no doubt that those of you who knew Victor well will recognize a lot of him in Daniel. As for Cameron, you may not know, but Victor's candid feedback and unique view of the world made him my most trusted and imaginative critic. I miss at every turn his "observations, insight into the artwork, his vocabulary and his ability to articulate his ideas". We hope they both carry on with intent, curiosity, and care.
We could not attend the ceremony last year because we were in Romania, bringing some of Victor's ashes to the family cemetery in Darlos, Transilvania. We plan to be present this year at MHS Prize Day on Tuesday, May 30. If you can and would like to join us, please let us know. Meanwhile, receive our gratitude and our best wishes for a peaceful spring.
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