Yesterday was President’s Day, and hopefully we’ve reflected on some of those who called us to the best and highest as a nation. Today I’d like to honor a past-president of the Chattanooga Engineers Club who has spoken into the coming years to come in a surprising way.
Almeda Frazier was a long-term member of the Engineers Club though not herself an engineer. She took a turn at being our president in 1981. But Almeda worked for TVA, with engineers, and had a deep appreciation for all that engineers bring to the world. A few of us remember her personally--particularly her enthusiasm and encouragement. Almeda and her husband Earl Lee, of Soddy Daisy, TN, had no children. But club officers tell me that she never passed up a chance to contribute to the scholarship fund which we have raised in a small way for a long time.
Almeda Frazier died in November of 2012, and Earl Lee followed her in death in October of 2015. Sometime later the Engineers Club learned that, while Almeda had been generous in her support during her lifetime, she & Earl Lee also chose to allow us to continue her passion for engineering by managing a substantial bequest from their estate to be used for scholarships and in support of engineering education. It's taken quite a while for the estate to be settled and then some time for the Engineers Club leadership team to decide how to best allocate this resource, but we're pleased to make that public today.
In keeping with the Fraziers’ will, our objective is to assist local engineering education and local engineering students.
First, we will be annually contributing $10,000 to each of Chattanooga State and UTC for them to administer as scholarships within their respective organizations.
Second, we have established a scholarship program through the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga designed to help a few local students who wish to study engineering at other institutions. $10,000 per year will be awarded through that channel.
We’ve attached a few conditions to the scholarships so that they go to students demonstrating real commitment and persistence.
And thirdly we will be providing assistance to STEM programs such as FIRST Robotics, the Science Fair, and STEM teacher training at the high school level to enable aspiring engineering students to get an early taste of the field that we hope they will grow to love.
Through the generosity of the Fraziers and the help of the Community Foundation, we expect to be able to sustain this entire program for about the next ten years.
This announcement has been posted on the ChattanoogaEngineersClub.org website, and individual scholarship information will be added there as it becomes available.