Eleven undergraduate engineering students at Virginia Tech were awarded the William C. McAllister Leadership Scholarship. The endowment, funded by William C. “Bill” McAllister, a resident of Richmond, Va., and graduate of the College of Engineering, has awarded 63 scholarships to date. McAllister and his wife, Rennie, were honored, along with this year’s scholarship recipients, at banquet held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.
This year’s recipients of the McAllister Leadership Scholarship are:
Irene Berry, senior in mechanical engineering from Stokesdale, N.C.;
Reid Doughten, senior in aerospace engineering from Smyrna, Del.;
Steven Friday, sophomore in chemical engineering, from Sumter, S.C.;
Andrew Frock, senior in biological systems engineering from Arden, N.C.;
Jacob Grohs, junior in engineering science and mechanics from Poquoson, Va.;
Ryan Holloway, senior in electrical engineering from Roanoke, Va.;
Kathryn Ledoux, junior in industrial and systems engineering from Fallston, Md;
Kenneth Logan, senior in mining and minerals engineering from Sterling, Va.;
Kristine Obusek, senior in materials science and engineering from Moon Township, Pa.;
Matthew Schempp, junior in civil engineering and member of the Corp of Cadets from Manassas, Va.;
Jessica Whitley, junior in computer science from Chase City, Va.
The William C. McAllister Leadership Scholarship benefits undergraduate engineering students at Virginia Tech, with awards to support their education ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 per year. Scholarship preference is given, but not limited to, students in the Corp of Cadets and is awarded to students based on superior intellectual promise and academic performance, demonstrated leadership ability, and personal character. Recipients are required to exhibit a strong commitment to leadership and maintain a 3.5 grade point average to renew the scholarship.
The McAllister scholarship banquet was officiated by Bill Stephenson, dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering. Scholarship recipients Holloway and Obusek both spoke on what the McAllister scholarship means to them. McAllister then took the podium and marveled at the many outstanding accomplishments of this year’s scholarship recipients and the wide variety of organizations in which they play a leadership role. Closing remarks were provided by Richard Benson, dean of the College of Engineering.
“Meeting the McAllister Leadership Scholars each year is a humbling experience that provides confirmation that this scholarship program is my life’s most important philanthropic endeavor,” said McAllister.
While a student at Virginia Tech, McAllister served in the Corps of Cadets and received numerous honors all four years. As a senior, he served on Regimental Staff and was voted “Best All Around” in the 1965 Corps Hall of Fame. He held memberships in many organizations, served as president of the Cotillion Club (now Virginia Tech’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity), and graduated in the top five percent of his class.
McAllister retired in 1999 from the company he founded in Richmond, Va. in 1972, Colonial Mechanical Corporation, after selling it to a Fortune 500 utility company. Today the company, now called Colonial Webb Contracting Company, is ranked 11th in the nation in size among mechanical contractors with sales close to $200 million annually.
McAllister serves as a volunteer leader in both Richmond, Va., and for Virginia Tech. He is a member of Virginia Tech’s Committee of 100 and was elected to the Academy of Engineering Excellence in 2005. He is also a Distinguished Benefactor Member of the Ut Prosim Society, the University’s most distinguished donor recognition society. In addition to the scholarships he provides to students in the College of Engineering, McAllister also established the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets William C. McAllister Emerging Leaders Scholarship, of which 12 scholarships have been awarded to date.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.