When the fall semester starts next month at Texas A&M University, students will find their American Nuclear Society chapter offers perks not found elsewhere. That's because the Texas A&M chapter can count on a permanent source of revenue—an endowment to support its activities now and in the future. The chapter established the fund at the Texas A&M Foundation with its share of earnings from a national conference.
"The endowment will be used to generate scholarships for deserving ANS members. It is important that we support students who show promise of being tomorrow's leaders, especially in this nuclear era, where the power can be used for so many peaceful purposes. I encourage all benefactors and especially Texas A&M nuclear engineering former students to help out the next generation of engineers. Any donations we receive will be split between immediate needs and future needs such as additional contributions to the endowment," said incoming student chapter president Samuel Kuhr, a senior from Austin, Texas.
Earnings from the $25,000 endowment will be used for student travel to professional conferences, presentation of student papers at professional events, hosting professional industry speakers and scholarships for deserving student members. The chapter contributed an additional $1,250 to cover the administrative fee in order for next year's students to have immediate access to earnings.
"I applaud the hard work, integrity and concern for others this endowment represents. Our ANS students represent the finest, and their legacy will continually benefit chapter members in years to come," said Raymond J. Juzaitis, head of the Texas A&M nuclear engineering department and holder of the Sallie and Don Davis Professorship in Engineering.
About 550 participants, including one-quarter of the U.S. nuclear student community, attended the 2008 ANS National Student Conference at College Station. Conference leaders were co-chairs Matthew Gidden and Marie Cronholm and assistant chair Adam Shephard, heading a committee of 22 students.
"What a remarkable and significant achievement the members of this chapter have accomplished in 'paying it forward.' Recognizing the importance of creating a lasting and impactful student-led scholarship is truly inspirational," said Andrew Acker, director of development for nuclear engineering with the Texas A&M Foundation.
Texas A&M has the largest nuclear engineering program in the United States, with a fall 2009 enrollment of 253 undergraduate and 99 graduate students in nuclear engineering and radiological health engineering programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks the department second in undergraduate and third in graduate programs among the nation's public institutions.
By Exa York