THE RSE FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
RSE alumni actively support our very successful RSE Foundation Scholarship Program. With the generous support of our alumni, 75 student members have received scholarship support totaling over $200,000 through the RSE Foundation Scholarship Program.
The program originated in 1987 as an effort by classmates to honor the memory of Frank W. Becker ’83, with a scholarship in his name. The RSE Foundation Scholarship Program has now grown to include the Frank W. Becker Scholarship and the Rudy Bergfield Scholarship (originated in 2010), both of which are directly administered by our RSE Foundation board, and the RSE Foundation Academic Scholarship (originated in 2002) and RSE Foundation Brotherhood Scholarship (originated in 2006) which are administered in conjunction with the RPI Financial Aid Office.
The Frank W. Becker Scholarship
Frank Walter Becker ‘83
As members of The Rensselaer Society of Engineers, we pay tribute to his hard work, dedication, and understanding of the importance of brotherhood at RSE. In his honor, the Frank Becker Scholarship Fund has been established to recognize a Sophomore Member who exhibits these traits.
What is the Frank W. Becker Scholarship Fund?
The Frank W. Becker Scholarship Fund is an exclusive scholarship for the brothers at RSE. The scholarship is awarded to a sophomore who has lived in the house for both semesters. The award is given to the recipient during his junior year, and is applied directly towards room and board.
This scholarship was created in tribute to Frank Becker who passed away November 20, 1984 after a two-year struggle with cancer. Frank enrolled at RPI in the fall of 1979, and from his first days on campus, he was involved with RSE. As a member of RSE, Frank’s involvement ranged from athletics to social affairs. When he was a sophomore, he volunteered to be Christmas Banquet Co-Chairman. During his junior year, he was elected to the position of House Manager.
It was during the summer after his junior year that the cancer was first diagnosed. Frank then spent what would have been the first semester of his senior year at home in Long Island undergoing chemotherapy treatment and an operation for the removal of a tumor. He then elected to finish his treatment in Albany while attending classes at RPI in the spring of 1983. When the cancer continued to spread, Frank returned home and started a new dietary treatment in hope of cancer remission. During this time, Frank was employed by an optical design company. It was not until spring semester of 1984 that Frank was able to return to RPI to complete his Engineering degree requirements.
During his final semester of school work, Frank held a teaching assistant position at RPI and was employed as a part time design engineer at Cluett Peabody. Frank received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Management Engineering in the spring of 1984. He then accepted a full time position with the optical design company on Long Island and remained there until he succumbed to cancer in the fall of 1984.
This scholarship was established by Frank’s pledge brothers and is awarded annually to a rising junior.
The Rudolph C. Bergfield Scholarship
Rudolph C. Bergfield ‘49
The Rudy Bergfield Scholarship was established in 2009 by RSE alumnus Rudolph (“Rudy”) C. Bergfield ’49. Among many lifetime accomplishments, Mr. Bergfield was a decorated athlete throughout his lifetime. Prior to coming to RPI, Rudy was a member of the Czechoslovakian Gymnastic Association in New York City, a traveling team that competed throughout New York and New Jersey. While attending RPI, Rudy was a four-year member of the RPI varsity swim team. Perhaps his greatest athletic accomplishments came with the RPI lacrosse team on which Rudy (along with Gene Armstrong and Dick Coons) was a member of the “ABC” first string midfield from 1947-’49. The team posted a perfect 13-0 record during the 1948 championship season.
The Scholarship is available to Junior Members of The Rensselaer Society of Engineers in good academic standing and enrolled at RPI. Strong preference will be given to applicants residing at the RSE Clubhouse. An exception may be granted in cases where a candidate is receiving an athletic scholarship from RPI that requires RPI on-campus housing.
The Scholarship is awarded annually.
The RPI/RSE Scholarship Program
The RSE Foundation established the RSE/RPI Scholarship Program in 2004 to assist Junior Members with the financial burden of ever increasing tuition costs and to support their academic success. The RSE/RPI Scholarship offers our alumni a school sanctioned way to support the educational efforts of the RSE Foundation through donations you may already be making annually to RPI.
These scholarships that the RSE Foundation is able to distribute each year to defray some of the costs of tuition are based on the growth of the annuity that is the basis of the scholarship fund. In the first year, we were able to provide two qualifying Junior Members of RSE with scholarships of $1,000 each. Thanks to continued generous support from RSE alumni and a healthy investment return, the RSE/RPI Scholarship Fund has provided two RSE undergraduates with scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each in recent years.