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May 20, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 18

Scott Laio '06, shown with his BC crew teammates, one of whom said, "For the past few years, he was one of the youngest guys in the boat, but one of the oldest in mind and heart. He loved his family, he was a great teammate and a great friend, and he'll be with us forever."

BC Mourns for Scott Laio

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

A funeral Mass was offered May 19 at the Church of the Transfiguration in his hometown of Pittsford, N.Y., for Scott Laio '06, bowman of the BC men's lightweight eight, who died of apparent heart failure May 14 after a victorious race at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.

Mr. Laio, son of D. J. and Mary Laio of Pittsford, N.Y., was a biology and marketing double major in the College of Arts & Sciences who had rowed three years on the men's crew and was remembered by friends and teammates for his good spirits and tenacity.

"He was a great kid," said Men's Crew Coach M.J. Curry, who joined rowers from the men's and women's crews in a party of some 75 BC mourners that traveled on two buses to upstate New York for the funeral.

Nick Spina '05, of Atlanta, who rowed in the seven seat in the men's varsity lightweight eight, recalled his friend and teammate as "one of those kids who gave everything to anything he committed himself to."

Mr. Laio's self-discipline showed on the rare occasions he was late for 5:30 a.m. practice, his teammate recalled, when he would dutifully pull extra kilometers on the indoor rowing machine, and run early to the boathouse every morning for a week to lay out the oars for the rest of the crew: "He never let anyone on the team down."

A schoolboy rower and later a youth instructor at the Pittsford Crew club in his New York hometown, Mr. Laio won a seat on the BC varsity as a freshman.

"For the past few years, he was one of the youngest guys in the boat, but one of the oldest in mind and heart," Spina said.

"He loved his family, he was a great teammate and a great friend, and he'll be with us forever."

Mr. Laio put the same spirit into his studies, said Michelle Ng, a graduate student in biology who was a teaching assistant in his molecular cell biology lab.

"He was extremely talented and smart and a very friendly and kind person, one of my most memorable students," she said.

"On the week that the class learned how to use microscopes, Scott and his labmate Meg stayed after class to look at extra slides that they had made of their eyelashes.

"It made me really happy that they were so excited about lab and helped me remember my own curiosity about the world that had gotten me interested in science."

His loss cast a pall over the nation's largest collegiate regatta, the Dad Vail, in Philadelphia.

Mr. Laio's boat had just won gold in the men's lightweight eight race on the Schuylkill River when he fell unconscious.

Teammate Ned Borgman '05 administered emergency CPR, while a Jesuit priest who had refereed the race, Rev. Michael Siconolfi, SJ, of Le Moyne University, gave a blessing. Mr. Laio was taken by ambulance to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sunday Masses were offered for him the following day at Boston College. A memorial service is planned on campus in the fall.

Mr. Laio leaves his parents, a sister, Lauren, and a brother, Michael, of Pittsford, N.Y., as well as his grandparents and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

A memorial fund has been established in his memory. Donations may be sent to the Scott Laio Memorial Fund of Boston College Men's Crew at this address: Boston College Rowing, Scott Laio Memorial Fund, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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