Lee Whitney Engineering Scholarship established at Lipscomb

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Professor Fort Gwinn discusses Lee Whitney's impact on the Lipscomb engineering program.


An endowed scholarship has been established to benefit Lipscomb University engineering majors who have a special interest in engineering missions.

The Lee Whitney Engineering Scholarship was established in memory of the late Mr. Whitney, a former colleague of Lipscomb Professor Fort Gwinn at Jacobs Engineering and a longtime family friend of Gwinn and his wife, Elizabeth.

“He was the kindest, gentlest man I ever knew, and he was the best engineer I ever knew,” said Gwinn, who is chairman of the department of mechanical engineering in Lipscomb’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering.

“I worked with him for quite a long time and he made an impact on a lot of people's lives while we were working for the same company,” Gwinn said. “When I came here to teach he had a lot of interest in what I was doing and helping out where he could, and his involvement with Lipscomb University actually began with the first engineering mission trip to Honduras.”

Mr. Whitney and his wife, Iris, eventually participated in several Lipscomb engineering mission trips, with Mr. Whitney assisting in design and implementation and Mrs. Whitney assisting with the “educational side” of the university’s efforts in Central America locations.

The scholarship is targeted to engineering majors who are at least rising sophomores. It will provide assistance for tuition and participation in an engineering mission. The scholarship seeks to assist students with financial need while perpetuating the values demonstrated by Mr. Whitney.

“He lived a life of integrity, walked closely with his Lord, and lived what he believed,” Fort Gwinn said. “I want to encourage students to live that life as he did, finding ways to use the talents God gave them to lift up the downtrodden, provide a drink of water for those that thirst, and encourage students who might be struggling a bit to make ends meet. We really do want this to go to those with financial need but have a promising career ahead of them as well.”

Professor Justin Myrick, dean of the RBJCE, expressed his appreciation to the Gwinns for establishing the new scholarship, which supports the college’s goal of adding as many as 50 scholarships to aid its students.

“Scholarships are a real opportunity for students to come here when many of them need financial aid. It’s one of the things that makes Lipscomb attractive, and we’re trying to develop a number of those things, including scholarships, co-op programs, internships – all of those make coming to Lipscomb more valuable and hopefully more marketable,” Myrick said.

Lipscomb engineering faculty and students have conducted engineering missions, primarily in Honduras and Guatemala, since 2004. Some of their projects have included designing and constructing a water tower, radio repeater, two bridges linking remote villages with the outside world, solar electrical system, a sanitation system, rafter redesign and – in Jellico, Tenn. – a building renovation to serve a local church. Teams also deliver school supplies, conduct classes in basic sciences, and share the love of Christ. 

Anyone may contribute to the Whitney Scholarship by visiting give.lipscomb.edu – enter “Lee Whitney Engineering Scholarship” in the blank for the “endowed fund you wish to support.” The same form may be used to contribute to any existing endowed fund.

If you are interested in establishing an endowed scholarship, contact Dr. Bennie L. Harris, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, at 615.966.6220, 800.333.4358, ext. 6220 (toll-free), or at bennie.harris@lipscomb.edu.