Turning Tragedy Into Hope: Daughter’s Legacy Lives on through Her Family’s Generosity

Jan 16, 2014 11:24 AM
Ann Ashmon

Paige Armstrong-Maltos and Pamela Martens

Paige Armstrong-Maltos was a vibrant young woman. The 6-ft, 5-in Concordia basketball player lived up to her larger-than-life reputation, both on and off the basketball court. She always had a smile and was someone whose friends and teammates depended on for love, encouragement and usually a huge sense of humor.

Armstrong-Maltos died tragically in an auto accident in January 9, 2011 returning to the Concordia University Irvine campus after a trip with her friends.

It is a day President Kurt Krueger remembers vividly. He broke the news to Armstrong-Maltos’ parents.

"I first met Paige's parents, Pamela and Tom Martens, about 10 minutes after I told them that their beautiful daughter, a freshman at Concordia, had been killed. We cried together andprayed together, asking God to comfort us and others who loved Paige and mourned her death. It was a terrible afternoon for Paige's parents, but also an afternoon during which the Martens expressed the hope that we Christians havein the resurrection of the dead and the promise of eternal life."

Armstrong-Maltos’ parents never wavered in their conviction that their daughter’s life and legacy would carry on. They comforted their daughter’s teammates, the driver and passengers involved in the accident, and the hundreds of mourners who gathered for Paige’smemorial service the week following her death. They immediately made plans to establish a memorial fund in their daughter’s memory.

The Paige Armstrong-Maltos Endowment was officially begun August 2013 with an initial gift from Paige's family - Pam and Tom Martens. The memorial endowment will fund scholarships to benefit students attending Concordia University Irvine who qualify and seek financial aid andare members of Concordia Women's Basketball Team.  

“We wanted to establish this endowment for three specific reasons,” said Pamela Martens. “One, it gives a young woman who excels in basketball a chance to play the sport she loves while obtaining an awesome Christian education at Concordia University; two, it will keep our daughter Paige’s memory alive; and three, it will glorify and exemplify our compassionate God.”

On January 16, 2014, President Kurt J. Krueger will announce a memorial endowment started by the family of Paige Armstrong-Maltos during halftime of the Concordia’s women’s basketball game and the #5-ranked  Concordia’s men’s basketball game against #8 Arizona Christian inside the CU Arena on the Concordia University Irvine Campus. President Krueger will be joined on the court at halftime by Pamela and Tom Martens and the first year Concordia women’s basketball head coach Trisha Stafford-Odom and her 2013 team.  The women’s game is scheduled to be played at 5:30pm and the men’s game is scheduled to be played at 7:30pm.

Gifts to the Paige Armstrong-Maltos Endowment can be sent to the Concordia University Advancement Office, 1530 Concordia, Irvine, Calif., 92612, with “Paige Armstrong-Maltos Endowment” in the memo line. Gifts can also be made online at https://cui.site-ym.com/donations/fund.asp?id=4571.

About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. CUI offers undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs in a beautiful Southern California location, with online and regional cohort options.Concordia’s undergraduate program is distinctive among universities inCalifornia because of its nationally recognized Core Curriculum, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtfuland caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. FaithAlone."

Concordiais a U.S. NewsTop Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. CUI enrolls over 4,000 students. 

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