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What Happened Next? A boy's precocious generosity opens doors for a gifted Peabody student

Posted March 3, 2018
  • Bob and Nancy Huber meet Yunhan Gu, the first Peabody student to receive the Jeremy Huber #19 Memorial Endowed Scholarship. The award is named in honor of the Hubers' son, Jeremy, who died during his first year at Hopkins in 2015.

  • In the fall of 2014, Jeremy Huber (right, No. 19) made his only appearance in a Blue Jays uniform, in a scrimmage against Drexel University (photo courtesy of Zach Babo/Inside Lacrosse).

  • "I overheard someone say after the game on Saturday night that we've got the advantage because we've got one extra guy out there with us at all times," senior midfielder Patrick Fraser told the Baltimore Sun in a February 2018 article about Huber's legacy at Hopkins (photo courtesy of Zach Babo/Inside Lacrosse).

Three years ago, as Truitt Sunderland approached his 12th birthday, he asked his friends for unusual gifts: donations to a scholarship fund honoring Jeremy Huber, a first-year Blue Jays lacrosse player who died after suffering from complications of the flu.

"I thought how hard Jeremy worked to get to Johns Hopkins, and him not being able to play one single game, I think that is just terrible," Sunderland said in a 2015 Rising video. Inspired by the $400 donation from Sunderland and his friends, more than 140 individuals made gifts from $5 to $30,000 to the Jeremy Huber #19 Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports a piano student at Johns Hopkins' Peabody Institute.

Rising reached out to Bob and Nancy Huber, Jeremy's parents, and inaugural scholarship recipient Yunhan Gu to find out What Happened Next?

Bob and Nancy Huber, Jeremy Huber's parents

Why was a scholarship to support a Peabody piano student a great way to honor Jeremy?

Nancy: I made Jeremy and his younger brother start piano when they were very young, and Jeremy played all through high school. Music is an important part of our life, was an important part of Jeremy's life — either listening or playing it. He could name every performer; no matter the genre, he knew the history of that music.

How has the Hopkins community — from the lacrosse team to the Peabody Institute — been a source of support for you over the past three years?

Nancy: Oh, you can't imagine the box of cards and notes and books and letters we have. Having so many people stay in contact with us, it means the world. We want to make sure that Jeremy is not forgotten — and they make sure of that.

Bob: In the spring of 2016, we got a call from President Daniels' office saying that he and [Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations] Fritz Schroeder would be out here in Las Vegas and asked if we could meet them for breakfast. We did, and we learned that the purpose of the visit was for President Daniels to relay in person that the university made a contribution to complete the scholarship endowment. It was another emotional moment, to learn that Jeremy had enough of an impact in his short time at Hopkins that people would want to remember him this way.

You met Yunhan Gu, the first recipient, at last year's Peabody scholarship luncheon. What that was like?

Bob: Meeting Yunhan and seeing the other scholarship students, you see their gratitude is so sincere, and it hit me what these kinds of scholarships really mean to these students. It reminds me that this part of Jeremy — he was the one his friends could go to for help when they needed someone supportive to talk to, or to get a lift through the day — is going to live on.

Nancy: It was wonderful to meet Yunhan, to tell him a little bit about Jeremy, and to know someone is pursuing their passion for music in Jeremy's name.

From The Baltimore Sun: Seniors on the 2018 Hopkins lacrosse team remember their missing piece, Jeremy Huber

Yunhan Gu, third-year Peabody student

How did the Huber Scholarship help you decide to attend Peabody?

I learned about Peabody from my teacher in China, who told me that my current instructor, Boris Slutsky, was an excellent teacher. Peabody has a very high reputation in China, and being able to audition for Peabody is an honor. But the cost of international tuition, and other costs like travel, is high. My family — my mom is retired — isn't rich. So the scholarship helped release this burden from my family.

How have your three years at Peabody made an impact on you?

I'm a piano major, and I've appreciated how my instructor has helped improve my sound quality and nurture my skill, but also improve all aspects of my life — not just piano. I appreciate how Peabody encourages us to listen and learn from each other, learning as a group, not just practicing by ourselves. Some other conservatories only focus on the individual part.

How has knowing the story behind the scholarship impacted your Peabody experience and what you want to achieve after you graduate?

I met the Hubers last year, and they were very kind. And it was so kind of the kids to start this scholarship that will help not only me but others to follow their dreams in music. I'd say thank you, but it's more than that. It makes me want to study harder, to meet those expectations, to live up to this scholarship. I don't want to just be the recipient of the scholarship, but to share it as a teacher and a pianist — to use music to encourage other people.

Visit this site to make a gift supporting the Jeremy Huber #19 Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund.