Saturday, August 01, 2009

Students offered scholarships from fictional crimefighter, Jack Reacher
Author Lee Child has set up several university funding schemes in the name of his popular character, Jack Reacher
Alison Flood in, Thursday 30 July 2009

Lee Child, creator of the literary hero, Jack Reacher. Photograph: Jim Cooper/AP

Jack Reacher, the hardass former military policeman created by crime writer Lee Child, turns out to have an unlikely penchant for philanthropy, after Child launched a series of scholarships for Sheffield University students in his fictional investigator's name.
Child, a visiting professor and graduate of the university, has donated £104,000 to fund 52 Jack Reacher scholarships for Sheffield undergraduates and postgraduates, worth £2,000 each. "I was very happy to help out - my generation went to university for free, and I believe in paying things forward," said Child, who has written 13 bestselling books starring his popular creation Reacher.
"It's upsetting to see bright and dedicated students contemplate giving up their studies because of financial pressures," the author went on. "Just like my literary character Jack Reacher, if I see things that are wrong, I want to put them right."
Reacher's most recent outing, Gone Tomorrow, (Bantam), saw him thwarting the nefarious plans of al-Qaida: "To make me a potential victim, the world's population would have to be reduced all the way down to two. Me and a mugger, and I would have won," Reacher says somewhat bombastically in the novel. Whether the scholarship students will be expected to live up to the derring-dos of their benefactor wasn't mentioned.

Alison Flood's full piece at The Guardian online.

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