Building Bridges: Donors and Scholarship Winners Feted at WPI Sept. 30

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - Generation to generation, a university can flourish or diminish, depending on the strength of its relationships. To honor those who ensure the growth and strength of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a "Bridge Builders" event in recognition of donors of endowed scholarships will take place Thursday, Sept. 30, at 6:30 p.m. in Alden Memorial Hall on the Worcester, Mass., campus. It will be attended by about 70 donors, more than half of whom provide endowed scholarships, and about 90 WPI scholarship recipients.

Special honorees are Mildred P. and Edward J. Sydor. A member of the WPI class of 1950, Edward Sydor returned to WPI with his wife in August 1992 to establish one of the university's largest scholarship funds with a cash gift of $1 million.

"Milly and I just feel fortunate that somebody made it possible for me to get the benefits of a WPI education," said Sydor. "Now as we review our lives and good fortunes, we want to make that same opportunity available to others."

The Sydors, who grew up in the Worcester area and attended Auburn High School, now live in Logansport, Ind. He is retired president and former major owner of National Friction Products in Detroit.

Benefactors have provided WPI with scholarship endowments totaling more than $51 million over the years. The 245 separately named funds annually generate $3 million for more than 580 awards, augmenting the $17 million WPI spends on financial aid from its own operating funds.

About 85 percent of WPI's 2,650 undergraduates receive financial aid (including student loans), giving endowed scholarships a vital role in keeping the university's doors open to all qualified students.

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum.

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