John W. Via III Establishes Endowed Scholarship at College of Engineering
To John W. Via III, MS CoE ’92, MS CoE ’94, education is essential to his personal development. “There are always new discoveries, best practices, and advances in technology,” he says. “Continuing education keeps your skills fresh and allows you to gain new knowledge.”
John should know. He has a bachelor’s degree (in Chemical Engineering), two master’s degrees from Drexel (in Chemical Engineering and Engineering Management), three other master’s degrees (in Engineering Science, Manufacturing Systems, and Liberal Arts), and a doctorate (in Engineering Management). In addition, as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University, he teaches graduate courses in engineering management and production and operations management.
The Alexandria, Va., native brings some 25 years of engineering and management experience in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries to his current position of vice president of manufacturing pharmaceutical operations at Alcon Manufacturing, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. He worked throughout his college days, and now he would like to “bring others along.”
John believes he owes much of his success to the educational opportunities he has had, and he would like to help others gain access to a Drexel education. So he established The Dr. John W. Via III, P.E., Endowed Scholarship Fund at the College of Engineering. The scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students enrolled in the Chemical Engineering program who have demonstrated financial need and meet a specified grade-point average.
John also had another motive for establishing the endowment: “Alcon is a global pharmaceutical manufacturing company,” he says. “I look at the number of engineers India and China are producing, and at the same time, I see more people in the U.S. shying away from engineering school. I hope this scholarship will encourage more American students to enter engineering programs, and that it will give those who couldn’t otherwise afford to study engineering at Drexel the opportunity to do so.”