Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

SEC presents $40,000 check
to university

By Lynn Nystrom

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 21 - February 19, 1998

Presenting two checks totaling $40,000 to a university is not unusual, unless, as in this case, the $40,000 is coming from money generated by a college-student group.
The Student Engineers' Council (SEC) at Virginia Tech has made what is believed to be one of the largest philanthropic gifts by a student group on record, and they presented the money to student-oriented needs in the College of Engineering.
The SEC was able to generate the $40,000 surplus by organizing two of its most successful Engineering Expositions (Expo) on record. Expo is a two-day recruiting fair attended by industries and government agencies interested in Virginia Tech's engineering students.
For the past two years, record attendance by companies has enabled the students to generate a surplus over the expenses of organizing Expo. When the students realized that they would be generating a significant amount of money, they decided to ask college organizations to submit proposals on how the money might best be spent.
Following a presentation to the entire SEC, the group, headed by President Shea Fitzgibbons decided to award two grants: $30,000 to equip the college's Student Assistance Center (SAC) and $10,000 as seed money to help generate support for the Freshman Design Engineering Laboratory.
The gift to the SAC will enable Associate Dean of Engineering Bevlee Watford to academically equip the tutoring center, as well as provide it with furniture. The SAC is available to all students in the college.
The newly planned design laboratory will introduce students to the different engineering disciplines, i.e., chemical to electrical to civil engineering. This laboratory class will allow students to disassemble common devices such as coffee makers, computers, and engines to get a greater understanding of how the devices are designed and why. Hayden Griffin, the head of the freshmen engineering program, says this program will impact every freshman engineering student.