ALSITE Scholarship Program & HMR ALSITE Scholarships, Inc.
For most organizations, especially volunteer organizations like ALSITE and Harold M. Raynor ALSITE Scholarships, Inc., institutional history tends to be lost as time passes and memories fade. With this in mind, the following Executive Summary has been prepared to supplement the October 4, 2004 publication OUR ROOTS . . . The Beginning and The First 10 Years, and to preserve our more recent history, by providing an updated overview of where we came from, where we have been, and how we arrived at today’s scholarship program. In addition, chronicle for future generations the forethought, effort and loving dedication of those who played prominent roles in the development of the ALSITE scholarship program. We would be grossly remiss if we failed to specifically credit Jerry Reeves, President of Traffic Products, Inc., for the pivotal role he played in the birth of the ALSITE scholarship program. In 1986, Jerry stepped to the plate, dug deep into his wallet and jump-started the initial fund raising effort with a $ 1,000 contribution (not chump change in those days). Over the years Jerry continued to make significant generous financial contributions, and is truly the Godfather of the ALSITE scholarship program.
As a private, tax exempt Foundation Harold M. Raynor ALSITE Scholarships, Inc. cannot directly undertake fund raising campaigns and must depend on the generosity of the ALSITE membership and other income sources to fund the current scholarships, and hopefully to expand the number of annual scholarship awards over the years.
The following summary of where we came from, where we have been, and how we arrived at this point in our history can only be viewed as a microscopic recap of the evolution of our professional society’s noble efforts to provide financial support to qualified civil engineering students. For those readers interested in greater details, please refer to the 207-page document OUR ROOTS . . . The Beginning and The First 10 Years, published on October 4, 2004 in both CD and hard copy format.
History of the ALSITE Scholarship Program
The 1985-86 Alabama Division ITE (ALDITE) year was busier and more hectic than usual, so much so that a portion of the membership was disgruntled. But when Jerry Reeves of Traffic Products, Inc. stepped forward with a generous offer to fund a $1,000 scholarship for students studying transportation, members saw something encouraging. On March 6, 1986 at the Spring Meeting of the ALDITE, the Division adopted a motion to accept the scholarship donation and to establish a committee to make the initial award at the 1986 Annual Meeting. Division President Tom Culpepper appointed an Ad Hoc Scholarship Policy committee that included Rod Long (Chairman), Dick Garner, Jerry Reeves, Charles Alexander and President Culpepper.
Scholarship Committee Chairman Rod Long reported at the June 20, 1986 Division Business Meeting, that the Committee had done much more than just select a scholarship recipient; it also recommended establishing a perpetuating scholarship fund in excess of $10,000. The interest from this fund would provide a scholarship each year for a transportation student with financial needs. Student applicants would have to be from an accredited engineering school within the State of Alabama, and show strong interest in transportation engineering as demonstrated by work history, course selection and future goals. The Division accepted the Committee’s recommendation and adopted a motion supporting the scholarship endowment fund.
Although no one knew it at the time, the simple motions adopted at the 1986 ALDITE Spring and Annual Meetings had formed the foundation for what would become the most successful locally administered scholarship program within International ITE.
Raising the Money and Adopting a Policy
At the June 20, 1986 business meeting, Joe Hoehn moved to have the proceeds of the Annual Auction go to the Scholarship Fund. The motion passed and $122.50 was placed into the Fund. In its meeting on October 22, 1986 the Board of Directors of the Alabama Division ITE transferred $500 from the general treasury to the Scholarship Fund.
In the business meeting of the Alabama Division ITE on October 23, 1986, the Scholarship Policy Committee announced that their report on procedures would be published in the next edition of the Newsletter. The Committee also reported that the Division had a balance of $2,122.50 on deposit in the endowment fund of the International ITE.
In its business meeting on March 19, 1987, the membership voted to increase all meeting registration fees by $5.00 to produce more funds for the scholarship endowment. Additionally, a scholarship operating policy was adopted by vote of the Division membership.
The original Scholarship Committee placed a great deal of work into developing the operating policy. They wanted something of which the Division could be proud. They worked hard to provide open, clear and strong fiscal management. The Committee established a large goal of $10,000. At that time it seemed reasonable to provide a $1,000 scholarship every year. None of the original Committee members dared to dream that the goal would be reached so quickly and so successfully. Nor did the Committee imagine that $1,000 would ever be insufficient to pay annual tuition and fees at a state university.
Overview of Other ITE Scholarships
International ITE conducted a survey of scholarship programs in 1991. Although not all of the Districts and Sections answered the questionnaire, 16 replied that they had scholarships. While the ITE Survey reported that District 7 began the first scholarship program in 1975 that claim is factually incorrect. In 1972 the Southern Section’s President formulated an extensive awards program that was unveiled at the 20th Annual Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee on May 9, 1972. A key component of the Section’s awards program was a monetary incentive to encourage Student Chapter activity within the Southern Section. An anonymous donor provided the funding for a 5-year fellowship which awarded $1,000 annually to a worthy student of a graduate CE program at a university within the Southern Section. Each year the Southern Section would select its Best Student Chapter and the Chapter’s faculty advisor would designate the most deserving student member as the recipient of the $1,000 award. The first fellowship award was named in honor of Herman J. Hoose to commemorate the establishment of the SSITE Herman J. Hoose Distinguished Service Award and was presented to Clemson University on June 20, 1972. The Alabama Division and the North Central Section both started their scholarships programs in 1986, becoming the fourth and fifth ITE Scholarships.
Scholarships awarded by other ITE Sections and Districts range from $300 to $1,500. The amounts awarded by Alabama appears to be comfortably above of this range. The other ITE organizations awarding scholarships indicate that they plan to give future annual awards in the amount of $1,000 to $3,000. Usually the amount they award is determined by the amount of money on hand or the amount of pledges received for an individual year.
ALSITE has done an outstanding job of accumulating funds. Other Sections require members to make (painful) pledges each year, or place great pressure on ABD Members to provide all of the funds. The Alabama Section elected to use other more indirect fund raising avenues. Its scholarship funds originate from many sources including voluntary gifts, meeting surcharges, ALSITE Newsletter proceeds, the Annual Meeting Auction, Annual Billy Jones Memorial Golf Tournament, Annual ALSITE Bass Tournament and interest from the endowment.