The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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New Scholarship Supports Returning Vets

Scholarship Awards

A new scholarship endowment set up by alumnus Robert Hagerty (Industrial Engineering ‘74), the president of the Polycom company of Pleasanton, California, has been set up to support undergraduate students in the College of Engineering who are veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan. The Robert C. Hagerty Scholarship will be awarded annually to students in the college who are veterans of the U.S. military and whose service includes a posting in Iraq or Afghanistan. The award can also be made to the child of a veteran who meets the above criteria. This year the Hagerty Scholarship has been awarded to civil engineering majors William Nichols and Andrew Jordan.

Jordan joined the Army following high school and served six years, including a 14-month deployment in Iraq. He is married with a young son and hopes to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following graduation. Nichols enlisted in the Navy following high school and also served in Iraq and Kuwait. In addition to his studies in civil engineering, he finds time to tutor students at Mark’s Meadow Elementary School in Amherst and the Hadley Elementary School.

Mr. Hagerty, a resident of Diablo, California, became interested in returning military veterans in conjunction with his donations to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the troops and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assistant Dean Kathleen Rubin, who directs the College of Engineering Scholarship Program, says, “We are very grateful for this support from Mr. Hagerty. It is wonderful to be able to recognize William and Andrew’s contributions to our country with this scholarship.”

Polycom is a company that manufactures and sells telepresence and voice communications solutions. Since its inception in 1990, Polycom has developed into a multinational corporation with more than 2,600 employees worldwide and an annual revenue of almost $1.1 billion in 2008. (January 2010)