Wednesday September 30, 2009

In Memory of Mike

Friends and family will gather Sept. 12 to raise scholarship funds for a University of Dayton graduate killed in the 1988 Lockerbie, Scotland, terrorist bombing.

In the wake of the recent release of the only man convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie, Scotland, terrorist attack that killed Michael Doyle, friends will gather Sept. 12 to remember the University of Dayton graduate and do good in his name.

According to Peter Sullivan, Doyle's best friend and event organizer, the controversial release of Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi will not diminish the joy of remembering Mike Doyle.

"The outing has always been about celebrating Mike's life and the lives of the other 269 victims," Sullivan said. "Our celebration will not be deterred nor will the spirit be marred by the Scottish miscarriage of justice in releasing Megrahi."

In recent weeks, Sullivan has been interviewed by The Associated Press about Megrahi's release and his comments have been heard around the world.

The Mike Doyle Charity Golf Outing is scheduled for noon, Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Ramblewood Country Club in Mt. Laurel, N.J., east of Philadelphia.

Sullivan established the event in 1989, less than a year after the tragedy. Proceeds from the golf outing go to a scholarship fund for University of Dayton accounting students.

Through the 2009-10 school year, the Michael J. Doyle Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded 53 scholarships totaling $131,500. Currently valued at more than $265,000, the fund will continue to help accounting students for years to come.

"The Michael Doyle fund has grown to be the largest such fund for accounting majors and it continues to grow each year through the efforts of the Doyle family and his friends, especially Peter Sullivan," said Ron Burrows, accounting department chair. "This fund has already provided tremendous assistance to many deserving students and will continue to do so for years to come."

Friends since their Cherry Hill, N.J., high school days, Sullivan and Doyle graduated together from the University of Dayton in 1980 and remained good friends, even serving as best man at each other's weddings.

About an hour after Pan Am Flight 103 lifted off from London's Heathrow Airport on Dec. 21, 1988, a bomb in the plane exploded, killing all 259 people aboard, strewing wreckage across the Scottish landscape and killing 11 people on the ground.

A golf tournament to raise funds for scholarships in Doyle's memory was a natural fit, Sullivan said. Doyle had played his last round of golf with Sullivan at Ramblewood just weeks before he died, he said.

"He had a ton of friends and he was pretty spectacular at being able to bring people together," Sullivan said. "I'm not surprised that we still come together in his memory."

A Web site for the event, http://mjdgolf.homestead.com, contains outing details and photos. Sullivan, who now lives near Cleveland, Ohio, said the outing draws about 100 golfers.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.