The Sam Edelman Memorial Scholarship was established in 2021 by family members and loved ones of Sam Edelman. The purpose of this scholarship is to raise up, support, and encourage trans and gender diverse students on their journey as Sam Edelman would have. This scholarship is open to any trans and gender diverse student in the Northwest with extra consideration given to those studying Political Science, International Relations and those who work in social justice.
Sam Edelman was born in San Diego, California and moved to Bozeman, Montana at 7 years of age. Sam embraced his multicultural and blended religious background with the same enthusiasm that he had for both the mountains and the sea.
Sam was an excellent swimmer and snowboarder, a talented musician, Taekwondo black belt, runner, hiker, hunter, an avid reader, and gamer. He loved all things Star Wars, Lego, and Game of Thrones. His culinary taste ranged from comfort food to gourmet, he loved burgers, corn dogs, spaghetti o’s and guacamole as much as lobster, sushi, and potato leek soup.
Sam was a perfectionist with a sharp wit and sarcastic sense of humor, he loved to make people laugh!
Sam loved animals of all types, particularly dogs and cats and his pet tortoise. He connected lovingly with animals from hamsters to horses. He snorkeled with tropical fish and sea turtles and lent a competent hand on a cattle ranch.
Sam was passionate about social justice and studied Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations and was accepted into the Global Leadership Initiative program at the University of Montana.
Above all, Sam was a compassionate person, a loyal friend who supported and lifted up others.
Sam made a connection to Judaism and to a Rabbi who worked in social justice and interfaith alliances while working on a senior project in high school. Tikkun Olam – a concept in Judaism encouraging action promoting social justice to repair the world would have guided Sam.
Sam wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper imploring for unity:
“But it’s not enough for us to just tolerate others. Just tolerating suggests that you merely can stand to be around someone. We have to go one step higher—we need to coexist. That means truly treating each other as equals, no matter what race or religion you are. If we could all see past appearances and beliefs, our society and culture here could truly flourish.”
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