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Richard Miksad

“Support for Graduate Research is one of our top funding priorities.”

Richard Miksad
Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduate fellowships

The goal is to have all full-time Engineering School graduate students fully funded. These new fellowships bring the total to more than 95 percent.

By Charlotte Crystal

The School of Engineering and Applied Science will be better able to attract some of the country’s best graduate students thanks to recent gifts totaling $200,000 that will be used to endow two new graduate student fellowships.

“Other great universities offer outstanding graduate students fellowships, so in order to compete, we do, too,” said Dean Richard Miksad. “Support for graduate research is one of our top funding priorities.”

The endowed fellowships were established through a $100,000 unrestricted gift from the estate of John Bell McGaughy and through $100,000 in funds given by Engineering School alumni. The school expects to tap about 5 percent of the endowment annually, said George Cahen, associate vice president of the Virginia Engineering Foundation and a professor of materials science.

McGaughy, a Norfolk native who died on June 8 at age 87, attended classes at U.Va. and received a degree in civil engineering from Duke University in 1938. He worked as an engineer for the federal government for several years, then formed Lublin, McGaughy and Associates, an architectural and engineering firm headquartered in Norfolk. In 1967, he was named by Gov. Mills Godwin to the Metropolitan Areas Study Commission, which recommended the establishment of municipal planning districts. He was recognized as the Virginia Engineer of the Year in 1970.

The gifts to the Engineering School are significant because most of the graduate students admitted to the Engineering School are from out of state and must pay the higher out-of-state tuition rates, said J. Milton Adams, associate dean for academic programs.

About 600 resident graduate students are enrolled in the Engineering School, with the majority in doctoral programs, he said. While 65 percent of the undergraduates are in-state students, more than 70 percent of the graduate students are from out of state. And the tuition for full-time, out-of-state engineering graduate students is about $19,000 a year.

“Fellowships are great because they allow us to give students money that is not connected to a specific grant,” Adams said. “The grants give students flexibility – they can study with two or three different faculty members before they have to commit to a particular research project because it has funds available for research support.”

Last year, U.Va.’s graduate students in engineering received a total of $9.6 million in financial support. That included $900,000 for teaching assistantships; $4 million for research assistantships and $4.6 million in fellowships from all sources – University, foundation, corporate and federal. This year, graduate engineering students are expected to receive an estimated $10.6 million in support.

“Our goal is to have all of our full-time graduate students fully funded,” Adams said. “These new fellowships bring us up to over 95 percent.”


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