Engineering scholarship established to help rural students

The C. Gerald King Engineering Endowed Scholarship was recently established at New Mexico State University. The scholarship is targeted toward mechanical engineering students who have graduated from a small, rural New Mexico high school.

The scholarship was funded by a $50,000 gift from C. Gerald “Jerry” King, a native of Corona, NM. The population of the Village of Corona, in southeastern New Mexico, was estimated at 175 in the 2006 U.S. Census. His wife Emily (Johnson) King was from Carrizozo, NM, with a 2006 population of 1,096. Both towns are in Lincoln County.

The C. Gerald King Engineering Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to mechanical engineering students who have graduated from a high school in Lincoln County or a high school with a graduating class of fewer than 50 students.

“My wife and I both graduated from Carrizozo High School in 1953 in a graduating class of 19,” said King.  “We would joke that together we represented more than 10 percent of our graduating class.”

King graduated from NMSU with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering in 1958. King joined Boeing as a design engineer in 1958 and held numerous executive-level positions during his 39-year career with the company. He retired from Boeing in 1997 as Senior Vice President and President of the Defense and Space Group.

“Throughout my career I’ve become acquainted with a lot of people in the industry and found that many of the people who I’ve grown to admire, particularly for their work ethic, have come from rural communities,” said King. “I’ve had time to reflect about the challenges that I faced as a student coming from a rural area. As a tribute to the 53 great years my wife and I shared I decided to establish this endowment to help students who may have had lesser opportunities to understand the value of a career as an engineer and the contributions they can make to our nation.”

King is a long-time and ardent supporter of the College of Engineering at NMSU.  King has served on the Mechanical Engineering Academy and was the 16th Distinguished Frank Bromilow Lecturer, named for a former College of Engineering Dean, in February 1990. His lecture was entitled “Shaping the Face of Aerospace Engineering—1990 and Beyond.” He was honored during Homecoming 1993 as the College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumnus. King received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree in May 1994 during NMSU’s 102nd commencement.

“Mr. King’s highly successful career in the aerospace industry is testament to the vast talent of students from small, rural communities throughout the state,” said Assistant Dean Patricia Sullivan. “We are extremely appreciative of his generous support through the establishment of this endowment.”


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