Touchdown! Virginia Tech fans cheered loudly when the Hokies defeated Boston College during their homecoming game. For 2009 Most Valuable Student scholar Craig Tripp, his freshman year homecoming was more than a football game. It marked the beginning of his friendship with Richard Harris, his Elks National Foundation Named Scholarship sponsor from Charleston, W.Va., Lodge No. 202.
Through the Named Scholarship Program, Harris pledged $4,000 to name and sponsor the Richard E. Harris Most Valuable Student Scholarship. Craig and Harris will regularly communicate during Craig’s time in college, building a friendship that will last well beyond Craig’s years at Virginia Tech.
To kick off their friendship, Harris invited Craig and his family to join him for the Virginia Tech homecoming game. The Tripps met Harris at the engineering tailgate brunch before the football game, where Craig, a mechanical engineering major, could check out other engineering projects. After filling up with burgers and hot dogs, they all headed over to Lane Stadium to root for Virginia Tech.
When not cheering on his Hokies, Craig, who is originally from Roanoke, Va., can be found working on a robotic submarine as a part of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team, or helping his professor research turbines for use in jets and land power generators. After graduation, Craig plans to go to graduate school, and eventually hopes to work for NASA.
“My ENF scholarship eases my mind about paying for my college education,” says Craig. “The Elks make me realize that there are many people who serve others and try to make the world better. I hope that when I graduate, I can do the same.”
Craig is off to a great start, and with friends like Harris, we know he will have the connections he needs to make a difference in the world.
To learn more about the Most Valuable Student Named Scholarship Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/NamedScholarship.cfm.