Mechanical Engineering Scholarships
The success and international reputation of our undergraduate and graduate programs in Mechanical Engineering depends upon the quality of our students, our faculty, facilities, equipment, and new and challenging departmental initiatives to keep pace with technological advances and opportunities. To maintain this success and to continue to improve our programs, the Mechanical Engineering Department at Tech relies upon the financial support of alumni, friends, and corporations, as well as the taxpayers of the State of Virginia. Such support is needed to fund important departmental efforts including new research initiatives, scholarships and fellowships to attract and retain high quality students, purchase new and maintain existing equipment, and recruit quality faculty and fund professorships. Even during times of economic prosperity, there is a need for support from both corporations and private individuals to provide funding for these and other departmental efforts. During periods of economic slowdown when State and Federal governments reduce financial support, institutions of higher learning and individual departments are stressed even further and the need for support from private individuals and companies becomes even more significant. One important effort in our Department that is almost entirely funded by private and corporate donations is the support of our most qualified students, through University, College, and ME Department scholarships.
Students and Scholarships
Anyone who reads the newspaper knows that the cost of education is increasing. In an effort to relieve some of the financial burden that is placed on our students and their families, the Department of Mechanical Engineering in coordination with the College of Engineering seeks to aid our most qualified students, through scholarship awards administered by both the Department and the College. Scholarships are used to support our most academically qualified students, those with clear financial need as well as those with no expressed need. Private corporations and alumni and friends of the M.E. department can help to support our best students, as well as support other important departmental programs by giving to Virginia Tech or directly to the M.E. Department. (Recent scholarship recipients are listed on the Undergraduate Scholarships webpage.
For those individuals or organizations that would like to help, a variety of financial options are available. The Office of University Development is the fundraising arm at Virginia Tech (www.unirel.vt.edu/ct/vtgiving/); however, donations at any level of contribution, whether restricted by the donor (e.g. for scholarships to undergraduate students with financial need) or unrestricted donations that can be used at the discretion of the Department Head and the M.E. Advisory Board, can also be made directly to the Department. Although one time gifts, annual contributions, and other options for support can be made at any time directly to the Department, a new convenient and general-purpose fund was introduced in 1999, The Randolph Alumni Fund.
The Randolph Alumni Fund
The Randolph Alumni Fund was established to provide donors to the M.E. department a visible and convenient means for designating unrestricted contributions. This fund specifically targets support for undergraduate and graduate scholarships; student projects; and special student, faculty, and alumni programs. The Fund is administered by the M.E. Department, not the University or College. Professor Robert Parker, the Department Head, is responsible for the expenditure of Randolph funds in accordance with the fund’s goals and Department needs. The Randolph Alumni Fund creates an opportunity for gifts from alumni and friends to be allocated to specific areas of need within the department. It allows a choice on the part of the donor of whether your gift goes toward scholarships, student projects, or special programs, or to general unrestricted funding needs.