Since his passing in June, friends and colleagues of the late Leonard J. Russell have been diligently planning various memorials to honor the first Cambridge mayor ever to die in office.
Last week, Gov. Michael S. Dukakis signed a bill passed by the state legislature naming the Huron Ave. Bridge after Russell. The former mayor is credited with pushing for the restoration of the bridge, which now connects a section of Russell's West Cambridge neighborhood with the rest of the city. Russell had opened the bridge, surrounded by dozens of schoolchildren, just two weeks before he passed away.
On June 20, Harvard announced that it would establish six scholarships for tuition-free study in the Extension School this fall in honor of the late mayor. Extension School Dean Michael Shinagel said the number of recipients, to be known as Russell Scholars, will probably increase next year.
But that's not the only school stipend being offered. So far, more than $5000 has been contributed to the Mayor Russell Scholarship Fund for potential college students from Cambridge.
Long-time Supporters are also taking about naming a baseball diamond on the Cambridge Common, apartments for the elderly at 2050 Mass. Ave., and a special Japanese peace monument after Russell, according to Gerald A. Boyle, the former mayor's aide.
But the greatest tribute to Russell may have come from his wife, Sheila, who announced last week that she will seek her husband's City Council seat in the upcoming municipal election "to continue Lenny's important work".