William G. McGowan Scholars announced at Fairfield University


Fairfield University has announced that Catherine (Kate) E. Smith of Burlington, Conn. and Kevin D. Bennett of Bridgeport, Conn., have been named 2001-2002 William G. McGowan Scholars. The Scholars program is awarding $21,000 in tuition to each of the two students who have just begun their senior year. The program is underwritten by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc., based in Washington, D.C. and honors the memory of the late William G. McGowan, founder and chairman of MCI Communications Corporation.

The McGowan Scholars program is based on an experience of William G. McGowan, who as a young man was admitted to Harvard Business School to study for an MBA degree. He lacked sufficient funds to complete his studies until he won the Baker Scholar award that allowed him to earn his degree and launch a successful business career.

Kate SmithA Dean's List student since her freshman year, Kate Smith is completing a double major in marketing and management. While most students select a concentration in one major, Kate will graduate with two concentrations in each of her two majors.

At Fairfield she has held several leadership positions, including in the Peer Education Network where she was the team leader of the AIDS/HIV Team her freshman and sophomore years and president of Peer Education during her junior year. She was also active on campus with the Residence Hall Government, Student Leadership Program and the Alcohol Task Force. She volunteered for the Breast Cancer Walk that raised tuition for two children with cancer to attend Camp Rising Sun last year.

With entrepreneurial spirit she took on a paper route at age 11 and looked for ways to improve the route and make it more efficient. She has worked ever since, including 15 to 20 hours a week during the school year. This summer she is working in an internship with Gold Orluk and Partners, a sports marketing and event planning firm in Avon, Conn. The tasks she is undertaking in recruiting celebrities for sports events, organizing travel plans and helping to administer the details of events is giving her valuable experience related to both her majors.

In writing about Mr. McGowan, Kate noted that he "aspired to tap into the potential of the minds and spirits of young people. He was aware of the necessity for an education to instill vision and empowerment in individuals."

Kevin BennettKevin Bennett is also a Dean's List student since 1998 and is completing a double major in accounting and finance. At Fairfield he has played leadership roles in residence hall government and the Fairfield University Student Association, and is a peer mentor for Project Excel, a program that helps students overcome cultural, personal and academic barriers to higher education. Kevin also worked on the planning and organization of Senior Week 2000 and 2001.

Last year, Kevin was selected for another prestigious award when he was chosen as a Gates Millennium Scholar by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In April of this year he received an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly for outstanding academic achievement as part of College Academic Day.

Kevin has also been active in his community, serving on the Adventist Youth Council and as a Junior Deacon in his church.

Since last summer Kevin has been an undergraduate technical assistant for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in Norwalk, which is a regulatory body that establishes the accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments across the country. His long-term goals include earning a Master's Degree in Public Accounting from Fairfield University and then sitting for the CPA exam, before attending law school. In addition, Kevin will be trying to gain a Fulbright Scholarship or a Gates Fellowship to do further Graduate Studies and governmental accounting research at Cambridge University in England after he graduates.

In an essay on Mr. McGowan, Kevin wrote, "His diverse interest ranged well beyond the boundaries of commerce and industry. Described by many as a generous humanitarian, he recognized that education was a unique means of fulfilling and instilling his vision in the minds of the young, whom he considered the key contributors and shapers of the future development of the business world and our society in general."

The McGowan Scholars program recognizes the academic achievements and excellence of students pursuing a major offered by an accredited business school. It is designed to encourage leadership ability, interpersonal skills, and a significant involvement in academic, campus and activities. It also recognizes excellence of character, a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial potential.

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 15, 2001

Vol. 34, No. 53