Lauren McCluskey Foundation office opens at Washington State University; First Executive Director hired

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Lauren McCluskey Foundation was founded in January of 2019 and now it’s very first office, located at the Washington State University Research and Technology Park, has opened. Lauren’s mother and father, are employed at Washington State University.

Prior to this office being opened, the foundation operated out of the McCluskey family home and at volunteer’s homes but, Jill McCluskey hopes that having a physical location of the foundation will help it grow and see even more success.

Related: Outside agency to investigate new misconduct claim against U of U police in McCluskey murder

“We started the foundation really small because it’s just been on donations and then we have gotten more donations,” says Lauren’s mother, Jill McCluskey of the growing foundation. “But donations just keep coming in. People believe in our purpose and are helping.”

With the new office location at the WSU Research and Technology Park, the missions of the Lauren McCluskey foundation of campus safety, helping animals and supporting amateur athletics will continue.

“Athletics and animal welfare were some of Lauren’s passions and but then our major focus though is campus safety,” says Jill.

Related: Officer in Lauren McCluskey case accused of saving explicit photos of her, showing to colleague

In addition to the new office opening for the foundation, a new Executive Director named. Linda Mittelhammer will serve as the first Executive Director of the Lauren McCluskey Foundation. Prior to her hiring, the foundation was run entirely by volunteers. Mittelhammer is a family friend of the McCluskeys and watched Lauren grow up. Jill says that Mittelhammer was a perfect fit for the position because she was at a point in her career to spend some time focusing on things she really cares about and will make a difference.

“Linda Mittelhammer cares deeply about the missions of the Lauren McCluskey Foundation. She will work tirelessly for our causes with a caring heart and provide strategic direction. We are so very fortunate to have Linda as the Foundation Director. We expect the Foundation to thrive as we move to the next level,” says Jill McCluskey of Mittelhammer’s hiring.

Lauren McCluskey was a student athlete at the University of Utah and was shot and killed nearly two years ago by a man she had briefly dated. She went to the university police department saying her would be murderer was trying to extort her with photos. The McCluskey family says her death was entirely preventable. The McCluskey family created the Lauren McCluskey foundation to improve campus safety in honor of their daughter.

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