Education Lab

Fresno State band pays tribute to crash victim

The Fresno State marching band will award a scholarship honoring the memory of Nathan Luke Ray, the band member who died in a vehicle accident earlier this month.

Timothy Anderson, director of the nearly 300-member outfit, said the band annually presents a "Rookie of the Year" award. That will be renamed for Ray, and at least one scholarship will be awarded through the Fresno State Alumni Association.

"Nathan was an ideal band member -- he would have been our 'Rookie of the Year,' " Anderson said. "We will be looking for those who live up to his standards."

Ray, 18, was killed Sept. 5 when the van he was driving overturned off Highway 168 and hit a telephone pole. He died hours after performing with the marching band at Fresno State's first home football game.

Family members said it had been Ray's dream since the sixth grade to play sousaphone in the university marching band.

Donations can be made to the Fresno State Alumni Association and sent to 2625 E. Matoian Way, M/S SH124, Fresno, CA 93740-8000.