Alum brothers endow engineering scholarships
In May 2000 twin brothers Thomas and David Sturgis of Boxborough graduated from UMass Amherst with bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and job offers from Procter & Gamble in hand. After packing away their marching band uniforms (but not their memories), they moved to Cincinnati to begin their careers.
In 2006, by way of expressing their gratitude to the College of Engineering, the Sturgises both made five-year scholarship pledges. When combined with matching gifts from P&G, their gifts total $15,000. Knowing firsthand the rigors of both engineering studies and student budgets, the brothers hope their scholarships will give recipients more study time and less need to seek student employment. The first Sturgis scholarship was awarded in 2007 to a senior Chemical Engineering major, Anudha Mittal ’08.
Of his donation, Thomas says, “If a college degree were a business, there would be no better return on investment than an engineering degree from UMass Amherst.” David agrees. “Many young people,” he notes, “think you have to go to an expensive private school to get a good education. That’s just not true.” That devotion goes back a generation in the family: the brothers’ father, Arthur Sturgis ’65, and an uncle, Paul Sturgis ’71, are also College of Engineering alumni.
As a senior engineer at P&G, Thomas works in R&D consumer research for the Pantene and Gillette/Venus product lines. David is a senior process engineer for Old Spice deodorant. Both received job offers the summer after their junior year, after having served internships with the company.
During their time on campus, the brothers did more than just hit the books. Thomas recalls being with the marching band to see the football team win the national championship in 1998. David was there too, but cherishes even more his memory of being on the team that in 1997 snapped MIT’s six-year winning streak at the Tau Beta Pi Regional Engineering Competition.