Invest in Students

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We take great care to prepare our students for their future careers. We provide excellent classroom and hands-on lab instruction and real-world experiences through internships and co-ops to hone their skills. We know that by investing in today's students we will have a greater impact on their futures and ultimately on the future of our technology-driven world.

For many of our students, however, these educational investments are only part of the equation. The number one stressor cited by college students across the country is the ability to pay for college. More than 80% of our students at the University of Memphis face significant financial barriers. This can be particularly stressful for students pursuing an engineering degree, which is one of the most challenging degrees to complete. Our students are faced with a rigorous curriculum that requires much time to be spent outside the classroom in order to be successful, limiting the amount of time available to work to offset their financial needs.

The stress of pursuing an engineering degree coupled with the stress of being able to pay for college can result in dropouts, failing grades and large amounts of debt. This is why scholarships are our top priority. Mark Minyard's story of success and gratitude is one of many you will hear from our engineering students.

Mark MinyardI was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi but moved around a lot due to my father's job with the Army Corps of Engineers. We settled in Hernando about eight years ago, and I was a commuter student for two and a half of those. An engineering degree was not my original plan. I am a musician at heart and had several internships in the music industry. I soon realized that pursuing a career in music was not going to be practical. I initially chose engineering because of the solid career paths it offers, and two years into the program I knew I was in the right place. Although challenging, the course work has shaped me. I've developed my technical abilities and seen exciting and rewarding changes in myself that I didn't expect. I am honored to be the recipient of the Dr. Rick A. Smith Scholarship.

This support has been life changing! After paying tuition, money is tight. This scholarship has freed up resources that would have gone directly toward my tuition. I used the extra funds to purchase MATLAB and additional textbooks that really helped me excel in my field of study. In addition, the scholarship has allowed me to use my limited free time to pursue interests that enhance my education such as IEEE, Tau Beta Pi and The Cantor Sect (Math Club). 

I am grateful to Dr. Smith and all of those who invest so much in students like me. It's easy to look at the rising generation as lazy, unconcerned and selfish. Indeed, there are young people like that, but there are just as many with vision for their families, communities and country that need your support to succeed. Thank you for choosing to support me and those students like me.