Paying It Forward and Paying Tribute Building bridges was a recurring theme at the College of Engineering’s scholarship reception on April 15, 2016. “I’ve thought long and hard about my next dream, the next big goal to strive for, and where I want my life to go after graduation,” student speaker Abigail Davidson, a civil engineering senior from Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, told nearly 200 donors, scholarship recipients and other guests at the Tucson Marriott University Park. “Sure enough, this Jersey girl is going to work as a field engineer for Turner Construction Company in the Big Apple.” Davidson, president of the UA chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, said participating in steel bridge competitions at the group’s regional conferences has been a highlight of her college experience. “The challenges of working on the steel bridge year after year taught me valuable life lessons,” said Davidson, who received
Round Table Discussion—Scholarship providers and recipients get together for the April 15 reception. From left are Abigail Ballam, chemical and environmental engineering; Ann Wilkey, donor and systems and industrial engineering alumna and researcher, and a speaker at the reception; Morgan Skillman, majoring in chemical and environmental engineering; and aerospace engineering major Glynis Facciano.
a Harold Ashton Scholarship and Fred and Anastasia Glendening Scholarship. “Without my scholarships, I would have had to take a job that helped pay tuition, which would have taken away my freedom to seek out organizations like the ASCE, Engineering Ambassadors and Women in Engineering Programming Board.”
More than 350 undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Engineering received scholarships from private donors totaling nearly $1 million in the 2015-2016 academic year. Alumni speaker Ann Wilkey described being raised as the youngest of five children in Yuma, Arizona, by a single mother who was highly accomplished despite paralysis from polio and who encouraged all her children to attend UA. Wilkey received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in systems engineering in 1984 and 1986 and worked at Sandia National Laboratories and in the defense and semiconductor industries before joining the UA as a systems engineering researcher in 2011.
Group Effort—Dale and Michele Hays, at center with Michele at front, stand with friends, family and just a few of the many students they have supported with scholarships over the years via the Conrad L. Fraps Memorial Scholarship, set up in honor of Michele’s father.
She has provided scholarships for several UA undergraduates and established the Mary Lou and Ann Wilkey Endowment Scholarship in 2010 to honor her late mother. “When you look at the student sitting next to you, you are seeing your future,” Wilkey told fellow donors. “That person may come up with the next medical device that will save your life, or extend the life of your heart.” 39:1 spring 2016 ARIZONAENGINEER 13