The Kegel’s interest in the WSU Biological Systems Engineering Graduate Fellowship is in recognition that there has been too much hasty development ignoring the long-range impacts and consequences to the planet’s environment. The BSE Research Program offers a promising vehicle with potential to explore avenues that will result in new techniques to restore past damages and protect our future environment. Arnie and Marta (Fagnastol) were married in 1954, two years after they met. Despite working full-time, Arnie couldn’t graduate until 1959 because he had to take time off to make enough money for tuition. Although school was a struggle for him at times, academically and financially, Arnie has never regretted that wise decision to be trained as an Agricultural Engineer, he has always valued the solid education he received at WSC. Two of Arnie’s three daughters even graduated from WSU. Arnie feels that the Agricultural Engineering program proved to be a perfect background for land use design; The combination mixed elements of civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, hydraulics, survey engineering with the agricultural aspects of the soils, waste management, sanitation, cropping, animal husbandry and related natural sciences. Arnie decided to pursue this career path after being assigned to a job operating a product “receiving station,” on Bainbridge Island. Here he met with suppliers, growers, and consultants and was introduced to scheduling during a summer job at NW Berry Packers in 1951. One of the people he met was a USDA-SCS “Agricultural” Engineer from WSC who consulted growers on design and building of dams, ponds, irrigation systems, wildlife vegetation strips, crop rotations, storm drainage, and erosion control. The Kegels know firsthand how hard it is to go to school and work. Through their experiences of struggle and later through their successful engineering business, the Kegels learned the true value of a college education. Accordingly, they are returning a bit of their good fortune to those students in need who have the potential to succeed. By establishing this fellowship, Arnie and Marta will help students in need attain their goals and they encourage others to become active physically and financially in supporting higher education and experiencing the joy of impacting students’ lives.
Distributions from the endowment fund may be used to award one or more graduate fellowships to students pursuing their graduate level degree in Biological Systems Engineering, with a preference for those emphasizing bioproducts and bioenergy, land and water, or environmental engineering. Recipients of the stipends may use the award for such things including but not limited to tuition and fees, subsistence, research expenses, and other educationally related costs. This scholarship is intended to help students who are in need of financial help in order to complete their education.