First Larry Orr Scholarship to be awarded

June 7, 2007
The Larry Orr Scholarship Fund at Seattle University’s College of Science and Engineering passed a milestone this spring.

The Larry Orr Scholarship Fund at Seattle University’s College of Science and Engineering passed a milestone this spring. Donations reached the “endowment level,” which means that the first scholarship will be awarded this fall to an entering mechanical engineering student.

A former chief engineer at Kenworth Truck Company, Larry Orr died in May 2001. He is perhaps most remembered for his leadership role in the development of the aerodynamic Kenworth T600A, for which Orr and his engineering and design team were awarded the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Award for the Advancement of Motor Vehicle Research and Development. He worked tirelessly on a number of other ideas as well to make trucks safer and more productive.

Orr also served as a Project Center liaison at Seattle University, helping students gain experience on real-world projects. “Larry was a liaison in our Project Center,” said Tricia Vannoy, academic development officer for the College of Science and Engineering at Seattle University. “That is why his wife, Carol Orr, chose to work with Seattle University to create this very special endowment.

“The Project Center gives senior engineering students the opportunity to work with business professionals on a real-world engineering problem for an entire year,” she continued. “Corporations sponsor the projects and often recruit promising students from them. We typically do 28 to 30 projects every year.”

The Seattle University Board of Trustees oversees the management of endowment funds. These are a vehicle through which donors can help provide support in perpetuity for students, faculty members or educational programs. “Seattle University is so grateful for the support of our students through this endowment,” said Vannoy. “There have been nearly 40 separate donations made to the Larry Orr Scholarship Fund, putting it at just under $65,000 today.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the Larry Orr Scholarship Fund may contact Tricia Vannoy directly at: [email protected].

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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