Architectural Success Inspires Scholarship to Help Others Succeed
After a successful life that came thanks to a solid education received at Rensselaer, Walter C. Daniels '50 chose to give back by creating a scholarship fund. "My wife and I decided to set up a scholarship fund for architecture students," Walter says. "It's very rewarding for us to be able to help young people attend Rensselaer where we know they will receive a great education that prepares them to make a positive difference in the world."
"I told my four children to study what most interested them and to pursue a career that they would enjoy," Walter says. Fortunately, Walter discovered what he enjoyed at a young age, and a bachelor's degree in architecture from Rensselaer helped prepare him for a fulfilling career. "Before I was 10 years old, I was using my dad's T-square and triangle," Walter says.
After three years in military service in World War II, Walter applied to architecture school and was accepted into Rensselaer's program because of his strengths in science and math. "I had a leg up on many graduates from other architecture schools because I had a stronger engineering background," Walter says. "Time after time, when I moved from job to job, I received more responsibility sooner than others. After 18 years in architectural firms, a ‘head hunter' called me about a corporate position, which I eventually accepted. A few years later I was appointed VP of planning and construction." Walter retired in 1986 after a successful career.
During one of his annual meetings with his accountant, Walter was grousing about how much he owed the government in taxes. His accountant responded, "It seems you've been very successful. What helped you achieve that success?" To which Walter replied, "A darn good education from Rensselaer and a lot of luck."
"Since you've been successful, have you ever thought about repaying your college for the excellent education you received?" his accountant asked. "A light bulb went on and I made arrangements to talk with Art Tracy and others at RPI," Walter says.
Scholarships like the one Walter and his wife established make it possible for students to attend Rensselaer instead of going elsewhere. Approximately 90 percent of Rensselaer students receive financial assistance.
"We contribute to the fund from time to time," Walter says. "In good years, we give more, and in lean years, less. I think some people get scared off by believing they've got to give a million dollars. The amount of money isn't as important as that they support the college by giving something."
You, Too, Can Make A Difference
Contact Art Tracy '92 MS at 518-276-2561 or email@example.com to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of Rensselaer students. There are many options available to you including gifts you make today, gifts that pay you an income and gifts through your estate.