West Virginia University alumnus Steve McHale and his wife, Julie, strongly believe the WVU landscape architecture program is on the right path and in the right hands.
The McHales’ confidence in the program, combined with their strong ties to WVU and desire to support students who have a passion for landscape architecture, has inspired them to establish the McHale Family Landscape Architecture Scholarship. This new endowment is the largest endowed scholarship to date for the landscape architecture program in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
“After reconnecting with the WVU LA program and visiting with Professor Charlie Yuill last fall, we were convinced that the LA program is continuing to improve, and has great people on staff to educate students and help them find careers in the industry,” said Steve McHale, a 1983 graduate of the landscape architecture program.
The McHales are no strangers to the industry. McHale Landscape Design, a residential landscape architecture design-build firm, was founded in 1981 by Steve McHale and his brother, Kevin McHale, also a WVU Davis College alum. The firm, with locations in Maryland and Virginia, serves the greater Washington-Baltimore metropolitan areas and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Developing and recruiting good talent to their field and, in particular, their company, is important to the McHales. After 33 years in the landscape industry, McHale Landscape Design has hired more than 15 WVU graduates, said Julie McHale.
That’s just one more reason why they decided to invest in the program. On top of that, they recognize that access to a quality landscape architecture program may not be financially possible for everyone.
“After experiencing the high cost of sending our boys through college, we decided that our resources will be best used to allow some students with financial need and who have a passion for the industry to be a part of the program without the worry of continued debt,” continued Julie McHale.
The McHale Family Landscape Architecture Scholarship will provide support for full-time students majoring in landscape architecture who demonstrate financial need. Award recipients who remain in good academic standing can be considered for renewal in subsequent years.
This scholarship provides one more valuable link between the McHales and WVU.
“We have enjoyed some very special WVU friendships that we have maintained over the years,” said Steve McHale. “With our second oldest son as an alum and our youngest entering in the fall, this scholarship will give us a chance to stay connected to WVU and the LA program.”
In addition to their friendships and family legacy of WVU graduates, they appreciate the distinctive qualities that seem to define all Mountaineers.
According to Steve McHale, “There is something special about the people from WVU, whether it is their friendliness, passion, work ethic or just the fact that Mountaineers enjoy life! These connections and qualities make us want to stay connected.”
The McHales’ gift was made in conjunction with A State Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.
CONTACT: Nikky Luna, Communications Manager
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