Virginia Tech Magazine
Alumni Association
Spring 2010
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Chapter and class scholarship recipients

by Melissa Vidmar

The Alumni Association's chapters often make scholarship support for freshmen from their communities a primary goal. Events such as golf tournaments, art and gift auctions, wine tastings, chili fests, crab feasts, and pig roasts generate thousands of dollars annually for these scholarships.

For the 2009-10 academic year, alumni chapters awarded $187,600 in scholarships--up from $175,000 the previous year--to 164 students. Awards are presented at high school graduation ceremonies or at local summer student send-off picnics.

But it takes more than a chapter scholarship to attract recipients to Virginia Tech.

Andrew Apperson
Amherst-Nelson Chapter scholarship recipient

An engineering major, Andrew Apperson says he applied to Virginia Tech because of its Hokie Spirit. Upon his acceptance, he learned of a scholarship opportunity with the local alumni chapter and applied.

"I have always been interested in engineering. I was hesitant about coming to such a large school, so I applied for early admission to help make the choice for me and was excited when I got accepted in December. It was an honor to learn I had won and to accept the scholarship at my high school awards ceremony at Nelson County High School," he says.

Samantha Stephenson
Richmond Chapter scholarship recipient

Samantha Stephenson, who is studying architecture, applied to Virginia Tech because of its top-ranked architecture program. Once she was accepted, she says, she was excited to be part of such a beautiful campus and to share the pride that comes along with being a student.

"I was happy to learn through an awards assembly at Hermitage High School that I had won [the scholarship]," she says. "Now at Tech, what I find most challenging is the architecture design lab. It's interesting to see other students' ideas since most assignments are open to interpretation."

Brandon Rothenberger

Philadelphia Chapter scholarship recipient

Brandon Rothenberger, a major in construction engineering and management, applied to the university because it was one of only a few colleges that offered his major, but he found other attractions as well. "What made me actually decide to come to Virginia Tech was the friendly atmosphere, real campus feel it had, and the fact that everyone strives to help others succeed."

After receiving a letter from the Philadelphia Chapter about its scholarship opportunity, he applied and soon learned that he had won. "With the education gained from Virginia Tech, I will be a great asset to any employer who wants a construction manager."

Kaylie Fitzgerald

Alleghany Highlands Chapter scholarship recipient

Kaylie Fitzgerald, a biological sciences major, toured the Virginia Tech campus during a leadership conference and learned about the university's excellent biology program, student activities, and school spirit. Once accepted, she decided to apply for a scholarship with her local chapter. While attending senior night at Alleghany High School, she received notice that she had won.

"I enjoy being at Virginia Tech and part of everything this school has to offer," she says. "The pride my fellow students and I have for this school is evident, whether at a football game or just walking around campus."

Stephen Rosenfelder

Baltimore Chapter scholarship recipient

Stephen Rosenfelder, an architecture major, applied to Virginia Tech because of its strong program in his chosen field. After applying for a scholarship through the Baltimore Chapter, he found out he had won while attending an awards ceremony at his high school.

"I really like the atmosphere everyone creates at Virginia Tech and have really enjoyed my Foundation Design Lab class most of all," he says.

Class of 1956 University Honors Scholars

Reunion classes celebrating 50th anniversaries frequently have endowed scholarships through the Virginia Tech Foundation. One, the Class of 1956, created the University Honors Scholarship. These awards provide deserving honors students with beyond-the-classroom opportunities in the last two years of undergraduate study. Scholars, who receive financial assistance for the usual college costs and a stipend for travel, research, or other activity, complete their education by seeking experience commensurate with the highest standards of intellectual and moral life.

University Honors Scholars are expected to demonstrate significant personal development--or the potential for such development--in intellectual curiosity and achievement; the mental agility to handle the unexpected and solve problems; a questing spirit to pursue greater challenges; moral character to establish exceptional standards of personal and public ideals; and confirmed leadership skills to serve, lead, and be recognized by a peer group.

John Hoffman

Class of 1956 University Honors Scholar

John Hoffman, who is studying physics, math, and French, says he has learned a great deal about himself through travel. "[The Class of 1956 scholarship] has allowed me to create a learning experience that was 100 percent catered to me, the things I wished to learn, in a way that I wished to learn them. In the regular curriculum, I can't imagine any way to learn about Nikola Tesla, da Vinci, and Voltaire all in one experience, nor could I attempt to understand the nature of their creative genius better than seeing their work and creations firsthand."

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