UI dedicates memorial to murdered grad student


by Associated Press & KREM.com


Posted on August 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 21 at 5:41 PM

MOSCOW, Idaho -- The University of Idaho dedicated a permanent memorial on the Administration Building’s east lawn to honor graduate student Kathryn “Katy” Benoit Tuesday.

Benoit was a master’s student in psychology and an accomplished cellist. Benoit was killed by a professor who she had previously dated.

Benoit had complained to the university last June about psychology professor Ernesto

Bustamante, saying she ended their relationship after he pointed a gun at her head, threatening her life. Bustamante resigned Aug. 19, days before police say he killed Benoit at her off-campus home and then turned a gun on himself.

Since then, University leaders worked with the Benoit family to agree on a permanent memorial.

A bench has been placed on the Moscow campus as a memorial to Benoit and was dedicated on Tuesday, the eve of the first anniversary of her death.
The shiny granite memorial sits under a canopy of trees. It reads: “In memory of Katy’s journey, her care for others, her willingness to speak up, and her courage to make a difference.”

 “The bench is an important part of the healing process for the Benoit family,” said Bruce Pitman, University of Idaho.

A student safety forum is also planned in Benoit’s name.

The changes are part of a settlement reached between the university and Benoit's family, which received $375,000 in exchange for dropping all legal claims against school officials. The family said the money would be donated to charity.