Supporting Future Generations of Engineers

Ethan Crain, a Damon Wall Scholar at the College of Engineering, worked for Toyota in Blue Springs for his co-op semester this spring. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss out on. – This 12 months marks a decade given that the University of Mississippi Faculty of Engineering mourned the passing of Damon Wall, a beloved faculty member and administrator, as very well as a mentor to hundreds of engineering college students.

Wall, nonetheless, is nonetheless assisting Ole Pass up college students and will enable future engineering students for generations as a final result of the scholarship his family members founded in the months in advance of his dying in 2012.

The Damon Wall Scholarship Endowment was originally developed with a $25,000 pledge, nevertheless Wall’s a lot of buddies and household customers have ongoing to generously support the scholarship. The endowment has developed to extra than $300,000.

A few of Wall’s daughters – Patty Bowman, of Birmingham, Alabama Beth Touchstone, of Meridian and Cindy Abundant, of Madison, as perfectly as her husband, Neal Prosperous – all acquired levels from the UM College of Engineering. They, alongside with Wall’s fourth daughter, Debbie Townsend, of Alexandria, Virginia, and his son, Steven Wall, of Washington, D.C., – the two also Ole Miss alumni – have built normal contributions to the scholarship due to the fact it was created.

The Damon Wall Scholarship has presently helped quite a few engineering pupils, but many far more are anticipated to benefit subsequent a new $150,000 present created to the endowment by Cindy and Neal Abundant.

“We are thankful for this generous gift from Cindy and Neal that tremendously boosts the Damon Wall scholarship endowment,” stated David Puleo, dean of the School of Engineering.

Puleo expressed his appreciation to all customers of the family members for supporting a wide range of desires throughout campus, although also noting their a number of connections to the state’s oldest and most respected School of Engineering and their ongoing expense in it.

Wall joined the college as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1966. For the duration of his much more than 30-year tenure, he served as director of the Engineering Experiment Station, performing chair of the Division of Computer system and Info Science and assistant dean.

Right after he retired from Ole Pass up, Wall stayed energetic in the neighborhood before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s illness.

“After he received ill, my siblings and I made the decision the very best way to honor him was to established up a scholarship for engineering students,” explained Cindy Prosperous, who grew up in Oxford. “He was often incredibly passionate about aiding students.”

Prosperous will come from a spouse and children of engineers. Her grandfather, Russell Woodburn, was an engineer and aided create the Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford. Woodburn afterwards joined the school in the School of Engineering and served as a member of the Oxford Board of Aldermen.

Just before just one of his lots of graduation ceremonies, the late Damon Wall poses up coming to the Tau Beta Pi bent in entrance of Provider Hall. Tau Beta Pi is the largest academic honor culture for engineers. Photo courtesy the Wall household

Rich, who fulfilled her spouse when the two ended up engineering pupils, graduated with a bachelor’s diploma in civil engineering in 1980, though two of her sisters, Patty and Beth, have been laptop science majors.

“I was in electrical engineering, and I experienced Professor Wall as my professor in my senior year,” explained Neal Abundant, the founding principal, senior engineer and running husband or wife of the Asset Engineering consulting agency in Canton.

“I was lucky to be capable to see him in the classroom as my professor and then see him outdoors the classroom as Cindy’s father. He was always smiling, and I in no way read him say a unfavorable term about anything or any person. He was usually pro-Ole Miss out on engineering, and that was inspiring.”

More recently, the family’s connections to the University of Engineering prolong to a youthful generation. Two of Cindy and Neal’s a few small children also graduated from Ole Overlook with engineering degrees.

“I’ve also bought an uncle and nephew who have engineering levels, so there are perhaps 10 in the loved ones connected with the Faculty of Engineering,” stated Cindy, manager of the Buildings Section for the Neel-Schaffer engineering firm’s Mississippi operations in Jackson.

By rising their assist of the Damon Wall Scholarship, the spouse and children hopes to assistance far more engineering college students, this kind of as recipient Ethan Crain.

The sophomore explained his determination to go after an electrical engineering diploma at Ole Miss out on has now provided him a prosperity of actual-world encounter. His to start with internship was with Hino Motors Manufacturing, U.S.A. Inc. in Marion, Arkansas, and he devoted his co-op semester this spring to Toyota Motor Production Mississippi in Blue Springs.

“At Ole Skip, I have not only been ready to obtain the classroom information desired to land my aspiration job, but I’ve been equipped to get experiential studying alternatives and acquire skillfully when doing work internships and co-ops in the production market,” Crain stated.

Having accessibility to the sources delivered by the Damon Wall Scholarship performed a very important position in Crain currently being capable to consider edge of these activities, he stated.

“Last summer, I uncovered a previous-minute internship in Memphis,” he reported. “Thanks to the Damon Wall Scholarship, I experienced the money liberty to protected housing and transfer to a diverse condition on incredibly quick recognize.

“To the donors who founded this scholarship, I want to say ‘thank you’ for the profound affect you are owning on each my life and the neighborhood I am so blessed to be a portion of.”

The family members needs to help students with limited economic resources.

“Cindy’s father labored summers, wiring homes for energy so he could get his electrical engineering degree,” Neal Prosperous mentioned. “Professor Wall was like so many students are these days who will need some aid to fulfill their goals.”

Items to the Damon Wall Scholarship Endowment support Now & At any time: The Marketing campaign for Ole Pass up, a fundraising initiative to secure $1.5 billion in private items to bolster the college for generations to occur.

People and corporations can make items to the Damon Wall Scholarship Endowment by sending a examine, with the designation mentioned in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Basis, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 or online at

For additional info on supporting the University of Engineering, contact Greg Carter at [email protected] or 662-915-3087 or online at