Building a Foundation
Donor's Generosity Opens Doors to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
When searching for a college in the northeast that offered an accredited program in architecture, Dorothy Underwood was surprised when the campus at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the "big city" of Troy reminded her of her small rural hometown of Otego in upstate New York. Thanks to the generosity of donors who endowed scholarships, Dorothy was able to join the Rensselaer community, where she feels right at home.
After graduating from Rensselaer's five-year Bachelor of Architecture program in 2014, Dorothy plans to pursue a career in sustainable design. She credits Rensselaer with providing her with the foundation necessary to acquire a job with a top architectural firm. "Going to RPI opens doors [for graduates]," she says, "because its reputation is well-known."
While at Rensselaer, Dorothy has taken advantage of the wide array of opportunities available to her: studio courses that provide practice solving real-life design problems; a semester abroad to study architecture in Italy; and participation in the EcoEd Research Group, through which she provides environmental sustainability workshops for children in the community.
Dorothy recognizes that the remarkable experiences she's had at Rensselaer would not have been possible without people like Mildred and Donald Edwards '26. A gift through their will in 1992 created a permanent scholarship fund at Rensselaer that supports students who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence and other criteria the Institute deems of value.
Dorothy is grateful to have been selected as a beneficiary of the Edwards Scholarship.
"If I could speak with them, I would tell them how fantastic RPI is and thank them for making it possible for me to go here," she says.
To show her gratitude for donors like the Edwards, Dorothy attends the annual Celebration of Support at Rensselaer so that donors can meet scholarship recipients and see the impact of their giving. "It's important for me to go because I wouldn't be here without the support of people like them, so I want to thank them," Dorothy says. "My life would be totally different without them."
Since 1824, Rensselaer has educated students in applying science to the common purposes of life. We invite you to partner with us in this noble endeavor by making a gift through your will. Your gift, regardless of the amount, will strengthen the Rensselaer endowment and benefit future generations of students.