Mathematics Department receives endowment

Tennessee Tech’s Mathematics Department now has a new scholarship fund thanks to a generous donation made last Wednesday. An endowment for the department has been established to honor Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Richard P. Savage, Sr. Don and Marion Savage, Savage’s brother and sister-in-law, gifted the Richard P. Savage, Sr. Endowment to the University to provide financial aid to math students.

“It’s a testament to Tech’s reputation to see someone who didn’t even attend the University donate to it, “President Bob Bell said. “We have a fairly large number of endowments, probably one a month, and most are made just like this one – to honor an individual. ”

Richard Savage, Sr. was a member of the mathematics department from 1962 to his retirement in 1992. According to Don, Richard enjoyed teaching a variety of courses, particularly the Modern Algebra sequence, and he directed the Master’s thesis for several students in the area of number theory. Savage, Sr. was the chairperson of the committee established to bring the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi to Tech and served as the chapter’s first president.

“Endowment donors can back out of the proposed donation until the Letter of Agreement is signed,” Director of Development Jim Brock said. “The LOA helps to make sure the University and the donor agree on the way the money is to be used.”

The LOA for the Richard P. Savage, Sr. Endowment was signed last Wednesday, making the scholarship’s availability official.

“It does take at least $10,000 to establish an endowment at Tech,” Brock said. “The money is then invested and grows. And this particular endowment has already grown to more than $20,000.”

But this endowment is only a fraction of that of the entire University.

“The entire endowment right now is about $45 million,” Bell said. “And that money is used by the University for all sorts of things, from faculty grants and fixing up labs to scholarships.”

Tech celebrated an enormous fundraising milestone, even in the midst of the current recession.

“We had a record fundraising year last fiscal year,” Bell said. “It’s just wonderful to see people continually wanting to give back.”

Any mathematics student who meets the following criteria will be eligible to receive a scholarship through the newly-established Richard P. Savage, Sr. Endowment: prospective or current student in good standing in accordance with current institutional policies, undergraduate student or prospective undergraduate student at Tech, majoring in mathematics, and have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Recipients who maintain the required GPA are eligible to have the scholarship renewed.

Richard’s son, Richard Jr., is also a professor of mathematics and is nearing retirement. His retirement will mark some 46 years of continuous service of the Richard Savage family.