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OLLU receives $250,000 endowed fund scholarship for Veterans in STEM

Jun 01, 2023

Dick Wade signs gift agreementThrough a generous donation from Richard L. (Dick) Wade, Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) has established a $250,000 endowed fund scholarship to benefit student veterans pursuing STEM degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Sustainability and Mathematics. The Richard L. (Dick) Wade Veterans Endowed Scholarship in STEM will be awarded to the first recipient in fall 2023.

STEM undergraduates with prior military service are eligible for this scholarship, which will be awarded annually and supports the recipient through the course of a four-year degree. 

Dick Wade, a Vietnam veteran, civil engineer and developer, wants to support a veteran who is experiencing the struggles he faced while working to obtain a degree. 

“I’m trying to find a ‘Dick Wade’ who needs that extra money,” Wade said. A first-generation college student, Wade attended the University of Texas at Austin on a Naval ROTC scholarship. The military paid for his tuition and books. His father, a World War II glider pilot, gave him $100 a month toward living expenses. Wade worked multiple jobs – washing dishes, cutting meat and drafting plans for the Texas Highway Department – to cover the rest.

Working 20 hours a week and pursuing a degree in civil engineering was difficult. But Wade succeeded, graduating in 1970. After college and eight years active duty in the U.S. Naval Engineer Corps, Wade started a construction company in San Antonio that completed more than 1,000 construction projects. That company morphed into Wade Interests, Inc., which has developed more than 100 retail commercial projects.

“I want to help someone who needs what I needed when I went to college,” Wade said of the endowed fund scholarship.