Via Endowment

Information about the Via Scholars Program

The Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Virginia Tech has the Via Scholars Program that awards M.S. and Ph.D. fellowships to prospective students for graduate study in all areas of civil and environmental engineering.  These fellowships are provided to stduents nominated by faculty and provide a competitive stipend (up to $37,000 per year for Ph.D. students), full coverage of tuition and comprehensive fees, and funding to cover health insurance needs. Applicants for the fellowship must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  For more information please contact the Graduate Student Coordinator and visit Graduate Fellowships and Awards.

Objectives of the Via Endowment Program

In accordance with the wishes of Mrs. Marion Via, undergraduate student support is an important priority of the Via Endowment Program (VEP). At least one new undergraduate scholarship will be offered each year. Special emphasis will be placed on recruitment of applicants who have a close family tie to the Allen-Bradley Company.

A prime objective of the VEP is the recruitment of outstanding Ph.D. students into our graduate program. The recruitment of outstanding M.S. students having Ph.D. potential is consistent with this objective. The VEP fellowships are to be the premier awards in the Department in terms of level of support, and should be competitive with those at any of our peer institutions. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for VEP graduate funding. The primary basis for the selection of VEP graduate awardees shall be merit.

Additional support for undergraduate student organizations, such as Chi Epsilon and ASCE, is also to be provided. The VEP may provide monies for discretionary improvements to undergraduate class and laboratory facilities. Mrs. Via has also recognized the Department need for discretionary monies from the VEP for: (1) new faculty recruitment; (2) facility enhancements; (3) outreach programs involving field trips and invited speakers; (4) external review of academic programs; (5) publicity; (6) recruitment visits by potential VEP Ph.D. awardees; (7) recognition events such as the Via Banquet; and (8) other projects that will benefit the Department.

In addition, VEP funds may be used for up to two Via professorships as circumstances warrant. The Via professorships will provide salary supplements plus discretionary support funds. The salary supplement can be matched with a state eminent scholars amount to double the total salary supplement available.

The amounts designated for any of the above VEP categories may change in response to changing needs of the Department.

Administrative Structure

The VEP is administered by the Department Head and two committees: the Via Steering Committee and the Via Selection Committee. The Via Steering Committee is responsible for developing guidelines for the allocation of VEP funds, recruitment of Via candidates, and selection of Via scholars. The committee is comprised of the Department Head, the Chair of the Via Selection Committee, and the Division Coordinators. It is chaired by the Department Head. Recommendations for changes in guidelines, developed by the Steering Committee, will be submitted to the Via Selection Committee and the Civil Engineering faculty for their review and comment. The Via Selection Committee is responsible for screening all Via candidates (undergraduate and graduate) and making award recommendations to the Department Head. This committee is comprised of a representative from each Division, with the Chair appointed by the Department Head. Nominations for Via Doctoral and Master’s Fellowships are submitted to the Via Selection Committee by the appropriate Division of the CE Department. The final decision on Via awards is made by the Department Head.