While looking back at his long and enjoyable career, Bill Powell, vice president of member relations at AEGIS, thought it was time to give thanks to the program that started him on his lifelong career path.
Powell recently pledged $25,000 to West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources to fund scholarships for graduate students studying in the safety management program, from which he graduated in 1975.
Powell says his career in safety management has been “very rewarding and wonderful” and owes it to the education he received at WVU.
“I really owe it to the master’s program for getting me started,” he said. “I have had a working life of challenges and rewards that I have really enjoyed in the field of occupational safety and risk management.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from WVU, Powell said he needed a direction for his career. He chose safety management because he had seen fraternity brothers go through the program and quickly find successful jobs.
The scholarship is to “pay it forward by helping another student who could have an equally rewarding career.”
His almost 40 years in safety management and risk management have mostly been in the energy industry. Powell said part of his motivation is his belief that his industry needs “academically trained safety professionals.”
Powell is very thankful to WVU for the experience he had in Morgantown. Here he met his wife, Karen, who also graduated in 1974.
“WVU provided me with a great college experience all around. It gave me a great education, great life-long friends, and led me into a great career,” Powell said.
In turn, WVU is thankful to Powell for his support of future generations of students. “The generosity of our alumni has helped the Department and the students over the years,” said Wafik Iskander, chair of the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. “Mr. Powell’s endowment will provide safety management students with scholarships to help them with their education expenses. It will also help to attract good students into the program.”
The gift was made to the WVU Foundation as part of A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University, a $750 million fundraising effort the Foundation is conducting on behalf of the University.
CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
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