Transfer students in the UW Construction Management program are automatically considered for the need-based Andrew Eker and Mary Hughes Endowed Scholarship. When the e-mail arrives that they’ve been granted the scholarship, they may have to double check that it’s real!
Donors Andrew Eker and Mary Hughes are familiar with the heavy lift transfer students face starting at UW; Andrew was a transfer student to the program before he earned a BS in Building Construction. Although they are now based in Alaska, Andrew and Mary carve out time to connect with the student recipients when they are in Seattle and were able to meet two students earlier this month.
Luis Guzman transferred from Shoreline Community College after his discharge from the Navy. An immigrant from Mexico, he graduated from high school in Michigan and did heavy construction while in the service. Since joining the UW CM program, Luis has gotten involved with the American Concrete Institute (ACI) student chapter and a student worker in the concrete lab for Assistant Professor Fred Aguayo.
When talking about what this scholarship means to him, Luiz says, “This recognition holds a special place in my heart, as a veteran and a transfer student at the University of Washington. For students with a background similar to mine, this kind of support is more than just monetary assistance. It’s a message that our experiences and perspectives are valued in the academic community. It’s a gesture that encourages us to strive for excellence and contribute our unique insights to this vibrant university community.”
Jonathan Jaffe is also a veteran and transfer student from Seattle Central College. He’s had a lifelong interest in building but injuries during his service made a future in the trades tough. Construction Management at UW was the perfect choice of major to get him to his next career goal, but there were some bumps along the way. Sharing what the scholarship means to him, Jonathan says, “When I found out, it was a huge relief and made it a lot easier to focus on what was important — my classes. I’m incredibly grateful that a complete stranger would so generously care for my well-being.”
During their meeting, Andrew and Mary were able to hear more about the demands and challenges that current students face and what their generosity means for students in the department. The students got to hear stories about how Andrew built his construction businesses in Alaska and about the value of philanthropy that drives the couple to give back today. Jonathan shared, “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Andrew And Mary in person and learn about what compelled them to act in such an altruistic way. It has motivated me to hopefully one day follow in their footsteps.”
A third recipient, Isabella Campbell, was in class during the meeting but shared that the award made a big impact in her transfer experience from Bellevue College. Isabella is actively pursuing leadership and student competition involvement opportunities in the department.
Luis summed up the experience, “I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and am motivated to make the most of it, both for my own growth and for the betterment of the community that has so warmly welcomed me. Thank you Andrew and Mary for supporting our journey and for believing in the potential of students from diverse walks of life.”