Civil Engineering Alumnus' Campaign Gift to Support Undergraduate Success

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A $50,000 Campaign Arkansas gift from a civil engineering alumnus and his wife will support juniors and seniors in the Department of Civil Engineering.

The gift from Dave (B.S.C.E.'73) and Karen Johnston will endow the Dave and Karen Johnston Civil Engineering Scholarship, which will be available to juniors and seniors pursuing a degree in civil engineering.  

Johnston, who has more than four decades of experience as a civil engineer, was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering in April, an experience he said that inspired him to give back.

"At the induction ceremony, we heard a very compelling case of a young woman who was a phenomenal student but needed about $1,500 more to fund her advanced degree in civil engineering, so she was working long hours to earn that money," he said. "I think having this scholarship available gives people in her position a chance to continue their pursuit of a civil engineering degree."

Johnston said he also decided to give back was because he felt his professional success was tied to his time in Fayetteville.

"My time at the University of Arkansas shaped my life because it gave me an occupation," he said. "As a result of my involvement in civil engineering projects, hopefully it made this planet we live on a better place for everybody else. My degree gave me the education and the knowledge to make these contributions during my 45 years in the business."

The work of civil engineers touches the lives of millions of people, Johnston said, and he felt it was important to help ensure students have every chance to succeed. 

"This scholarship is dedicated to helping civil engineering students achieve their maximum potential," he said. "It allows them to make a greater contribution to society. Big picture, that's what civil engineers do. We touch infrastructure, transportation, economic development - that impacts everybody."

Johnston is senior vice president at BGE, Inc., a Houston firm that provides services in civil engineering, public works, public infrastructure, private development, environmental sciences, industrial development, land planning, construction services and surveying across the southeastern United States.

Contacts

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, ndemoss@uark.edu

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