Each spring, Shoshanna Conway travels to the NC State campus to spend time with the engineering student who is benefitting from the scholarship named for her late husband. The annual Endowment Dinner hosted by the NC State Engineering Foundation makes it possible.
This event allows donors of endowed scholarships, fellowships and professorships to meet the recipient(s) of their award for the current year or semester. Both donors and students alike enjoyed sharing stories of their lives and their love of the Wolfpack and the College of Engineering. The 21st annual Endowment Dinner was held on April 4, 2019 at the Talley Student Union Ballroom.
The John Estes Conway Memorial Scholarship established by his family has benefitted more than 50 students in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE). John Conway, who passed away in 1977 at the age of 27, earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, both from NC State. Conway was a member of music and engineering honor societies and the University concert and marching bands while on campus and was named the Outstanding Aerospace Student at NC State.
“Although his life was cut short, he contributed much during his time at NC State, to his work environment, his family and friends, his church, Scholar Cantorum, and in particular to me,” Shoshanna Conway said. “In John’s untimely death, there was a determination that something good would come out of it. I get to see that every spring at the Engineering Scholarship dinner.”
Evan Youngberg, a senior in MAE, has received the Conway scholarship and was able to spend time with Shoshanna Conway at this year’s Endowment Dinner.
“It means a lot to me to become a part of this scholarship’s continuing story,” Youngberg said. “I am more thankful than words can say for the financial support this scholarship has given me to continue working on my aerospace engineering degree.”
At this year’s event, Dean Louis Martin-Vega spoke of the importance of endowments to the College, its students and its faculty. He acknowledged and gave heart-felt thanks to all of the generous donors who support the College in this way and introduced many of them in attendance.
Suzanne Gordon, whose family has endowed the Gordon Family Scholarship, is one of these donors. Gordon, who serves as president of the Engineering Foundation, spoke at the event sharing her thoughts on why people choose to give. There are so many reasons — to pay it forward, to pay it backward (give as you were given to), to support the school you love, to support the growth and opportunity of others or to honor someone you care about.
Carmen Davis, a student recipient, also spoke at the event. She described how meaningful receiving a scholarship was to her and her family, not only financially, but also as a motivator for her success. Davis, who received the Garwood Family Scholarship Endowment, plans to one day offer a scholarship to an NC State undergraduate student herself.
There are many types of endowments — scholarships, fellowships, professorships and general funds that support research and special programs for students and faculty members. The College has 313 endowed scholarships and 56 endowed professorships.