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Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News
Chris Galbraith, father of Jenn Galbraith, visits Thursday with Lt. Dave Bennett and daughter Angela Galbraith.

OREM — It was the classic story of boy meets girl: Two college students who didn't like each other much at first developed a friendship and later fell in love.

But this time, the story ended tragically.

Blake Donner and Jenn Galbraith were studying philosophy at Utah Valley State College. They died together with two other friends, Ariel Singer and Scott Kelran McDonald, in a cave in the mountains above Provo last Aug. 18.

Donner's and Galbraith's parents remembered them Thursday at a fund-raiser luncheon for a UVSC scholarship in their names, held at Outback Steakhouse in Orem.

The restaurant donated the food. The staff donated its time. And nearly 300 people attended the luncheon. The money raised at the luncheon will increase the Donner-Galbraith Memorial Scholarship to about $25,000. Also increasing the pot are the summer earnings of UVSC philosophy professor Shannon Mussett, and Phoenix developer Ira Fulton's offer to match donations to UVSC from students, faculty, staff and alumni up to $1,000 through December.

The one-year, half-tuition scholarship will be awarded to UVSC students with high academic achievement and an interest in tackling social ills. The scholarship may help a student complete the work that Donner and Galbraith were unable to fulfill.

Donner, 24, was a vegan who questioned capitalism and sang about social oppression in a punk rock band, said his mother, UVSC English professor Laura Hamblin.

Galbraith, 21, was also a vegetarian and a talented photographer. She was outgoing and passionate, and in the last years of her life, she changed intellectually and became concerned about women's issues, said her parents, Dorice and Chris Galbraith.

The two met through friends and Internet blogs, the Galbraiths said. He thought she was too social. She questioned his commitment to his causes.

"Then they realized they were both the same," Chris Galbraith said.

They had known each other for about a year and dated for about six months before their deaths.

Holding the scholarship luncheon at a steakhouse while the two students had been vegetarians was unintentional. But Hamblin said her son also valued generosity and would have been touched that so many people contributed to the fund.

"Wherever Blake is, he's beyond irony," she said.

The cave where the four friends died has been sealed off. It contained two caverns connected by a 15-foot water tunnel. Autopsies listed the causes of death of the four friends as drownings, and search and rescue crew members believed the friends died as they were swimming to leave the area.

Members of the Utah County Search and Rescue Team who recovered their bodies attended the luncheon.

Meeting again with the families "definitely adds an element of reality to what we do," said search and rescue volunteer C.J. Johnson.

Dorice Galbraith, who manages the office of UVSC's English department, remembers Laura Hamblin walking to her desk and excitedly chatting about how cute their children were as a couple.

"It's still hard," she said. "I mean, you do your routine and it's like, I told my doctor, 'I know one day those things will make me happy again.' "


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