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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 05 

Northrop Grumman gift to Virginia Tech supports leadership in national security

May 7, 2015

Photograph of Northrup Grumman Scholars
Pictured are: Deputy Commandant Lt. Col. Don Russell; Northrop Grumman Scholarship Program in Military Leadership recipients Melanie Otte, of Red Lion, Pennsylvania; Alex Mundy, of Omaha, Nebraska; Madeline Guillen, of Chantilly, Virginia; Walter Gonsiewski, of Lebanon Township, New Jersey; Anthony Clifton, of Poquoson, Virginia; Anthony Carella, of Mercerville, New Jersey; Northrop Grumman Corporation Director of Talent Acquisition Jeanie Wade; and Commandant of Cadets Maj. Gen. Randy Fullhart.

Northrop Grumman has committed $750,000 to support a scholarship program at Virginia Tech and a faculty fellowship aimed at creating leaders who are poised to solve the national security challenges of the 21st century.

The support to the university will establish the Northrop Grumman Scholarship Program in Military Leadership, which will support students in the university’s Corps of Cadets and College of Engineering. Additionally it will serve to create the Northrop Grumman Senior Faculty Fellowship in Advanced Intelligence Systems.

The scholarship program and the fellowship are designed to encourage the growth of innovation in key technology areas such as command and control and aviation. Virginia Tech, through the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, is one of six test sites established by the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System.

“We’re counting on schools like Virginia Tech to produce the next wave of innovators and leaders in the aerospace and defense industry,” said Wes Bush, chairman, CEO, and president of Northrop Grumman Corporation. “We expect that this initiative will contribute to national security through a focus on C4ISR and unmanned systems.”

The defense industry term C4ISR refers to command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The faculty fellowship is designed to support an outstanding faculty member in the College of Engineering who is affiliated with the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology.

That center, with facilities in Blacksburg and Arlington is a focal point for Virginia Tech’s connections to the national security industry through research and education. The Hume Center focuses on research and education in the areas of signals intelligence, electronic warfare, cyber security and analytics, and aerospace systems.

 “This partnership with Northrop Grumman will help to advance the Hume Center’s mission to develop the next generation of leaders in national security technologies,” Hume Center Director and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Charles Clancy said, “It is through the sustained support of our industry partners that we can continue to attract and retain the top-notch faculty that will allow our programs to grow.”

As part of the scholarship program, recipients will be offered paid internships at Northrop Grumman. Students chosen as part of the initiative are expected to graduate with an understanding of the current national security challenges, and the skills to tackle them.

“We are deeply appreciative of this generous gift from Northrop Grumman,” said Richard Benson, dean of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. “This partnership will produce engineers who understand today’s national security challenges and possess the expertise necessary to handle those of the future.”

Commandant of Cadets Maj. Gen. Randy Fullhart said the partnership is a win-win for Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets.

“It is a validation that our leader development program is producing the kinds of leaders top-tier organizations like Northrop Grumman value.” Fullhart said. “We look forward to a long-term partnership.” 

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Annie McCallum

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