LU News Archive

New scholarship in civil engineering established

The Lamar University Foundation has announced an endowed scholarship has been established for the College of Engineering. The Willa Nelson Ross and Ruby Nelson Shirutis Scholarship in civil engineering will provide funding for outstanding students to further their studies at Lamar.

“Our goal is to recruit the best students available for our academic programs,” said Victor Zaloom, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “Having scholarship funds is a huge help in attracting high quality students who are striving to be successful.”

Along with her husband, Charles Ross, Willa Nelson Ross has dedicated much of her life to education, teaching in colleges and elementary schools.

“I was extremely pleased and a little surprised upon discovering the scholarship was going to be established in civil engineering,” said Zaloom. “I knew Willa Nelson Ross wasn’t involved in the engineering discipline, but she had experienced flooded streets which have since been improved by civil engineers. Willa Nelson Ross decided civil engineering was an admirable profession and she wanted to promote it.”

Ross establishes this scholarship in honor of her sister, Ruby Nelson Shirutis, who, with her husband, was active in both social and civic organizations in Beaumont. Shirutis retired as office manager for the Federal Court System in Beaumont. Ross hopes the scholarship furthers a lifelong commitment in assisting students achieve in higher education.

“Donors may not realize the full impact their funding has on a student’s life,” said Zaloom. “For many of our students, they are forced to work many hours while trying to succeed in a rigorous engineering program. Scholarships allow students to cut back on work hours and concentrate on their schoolwork, therefore increasing dramatically the student’s ability to succeed.”

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.