Scholarship honors loved ones while providing strangers with opportunities
For Kyle Webb, a scholarship means less dirt he has to dig through and fewer flowers he has to plant for his job with the Mizzou Recreation Complex. So when the sophomore learned he had received the College of Engineering Memorial Scholarship, it was more than just a pleasant surprise.
“I was notified by e-mail,” Webb said, adding that he learned of the scholarship, along with other scholarships, while in his Freshman Interest Group [FIG].
Since the scholarship was renamed nearly three years ago, it has provided financial assistance to nine students based on academic merit and financial need, distributing more than $14,000 in that near three-year timeframe.
The scholarship was created in 1991 as the Engineering Dean’s Scholarship Fund to allow one-time donors to make a gift to the college.
“[The scholarship] is a way for people who don’t necessarily want to endow a scholarship, but still want to make a donation,” said Mary Jo Adams, international programs and scholarship coordinator.
Many of the gifts to the Engineering Dean’s Scholarship, Adams said, were given in memorial to an individual, prompting Walt Vandelicht, a 1949 graduate of civil engineering, to suggest changing the scholarship’s name.
“I’ve been involved in several endowment funds, and it seemed only logical that the College of Engineering would have a fund to remember a friend or family member,” Vandelicht said.
Further discussions among alumni and administrators led to the name change in January 2010. The current title was selected to better reflect the source and reason for the gift.
“I was pleased they made an avenue available for people to make contributions of this kind, to be able to remember a family member or former faculty,” Vandelicht said.
For students like Webb, a mechanical engineering major with aerospace emphasis, no gift is too small when it can go toward paying tuition.
“Anything helps immensely,” said Webb, who pays his tuition with a combination of scholarships, money earned from his job at the rec center and with help from his family. “Even $1,000 has an impact.”
Webb, who also is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Aviation and Astronautics, said he immediately forwarded the message to his parents after reading the e-mail about his award.
“My parents were definitely happy for me to get this,” he said.
Reasons to give
As a scholarship donor, Abby Herl said her gift was a way to give to the school that has been a part of her family. Herl received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from MU Engineering in 1991.
“I do a lot of charity donation, and a lot of it is through work,” said Herl, who works for Kansas City Power and Light. “But I started thinking about donating to things that are more of a personal interest and focusing more on that.”
Herl said she wanted to give back to causes that had her affected her life, including her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and her — as well as her siblings’ — alma mater. She made the gift in memory of her father, Donald W. Fancher, Mizzou vice provost from 1996 to 1999.
Donating to the College of Engineering Memorial Scholarship
The Memorial Scholarship fund is open to anyone who would like to make a gift in any amount. If you choose to make a gift, please make a check out to the University of Missouri and mail it to:
College of Engineering
Office of Advancement
W1006 Thomas & Nell Lafferre Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-2200
In a letter or designation on the check, indicate that you would like it to go to the College of Engineering Memorial Scholarship. While the option is available, it is not necessary to designate the gift in memory of a loved one, but if that is your intent, make note of it with the donation.
For more information, read about giving to MU Engineering online or contact the MU Engineering Advancement Office at 1-800-560-0825.
Gifts of any amount benefit the College of Engineering and its students.