|Crowders Establish Scholarship in Honor of Dr. Graham|
To honor a fellow veteran, student, teacher and 40-year friend, Bill and Pam Crowder have established a scholarship within the Lee College of Engineering in the name of Civil Engineering professor Dr. Johnny Graham.
A Civil Engineering alumnus, Bill Crowder is an owner of Crowder Construction Company. He and wife Pam will donate $100,000 to UNC Charlotte to endow the Johnny Graham Scholarship. The donation will fund an annual $5,000 scholarship to be given to veterans and the children and grandchildren of veterans to study engineering.
Crowder and Dr. Graham were classmates in The William States Lee College of Engineering in the early 1970s. They had both just returned from service in the Army, as had many of their classmates.
“It was a special time,” Crowder said. “We vets had a bond that went beyond that of just classmates. We had all been through some ‘interesting’ times in the military. Some had scars - we all had life lessons. We all were married and a few had kids. Because of our shared experience our perspective was quite different from that of the ‘normal’ age college student. Our professors were about the same age we were, and we became close with them and their families - another bond that was forged - it was just a very special atmosphere.
“It was a time and place that shaped us all and made a big difference in my life. After graduation many of us have stayed in touch and remained friends. Johnny and his wife have been close friends of my wife and I for over 40 years. I’m privileged to be able to honor Johnny with this scholarship. He has been an inspiration me, to his students and to his country. Johnny exemplifies what it means to make this world a little better place as you pass through.”
During his UNC Charlotte career Dr. Graham has earned the highest teaching awards in The William States Lee College of Engineering at both the graduate and the undergraduate levels. He is the author of 50 publications and has navigated the academic ranks through the highest level of Full Professor He will now be awarded the title of Professor Emeritus, which provides lifetime ties to UNC Charlotte.
Dr. Graham’s professional career involves time as a design engineer with an environmental consulting firm and as a management engineer in the construction industry. He is a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina. Dr. Graham will be retiring June 30th with more than 28 years on the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNC Charlotte. He lives with his wife, Anita, in the Crescent Community in Salisbury.
This partial video clip is of Dr. Graham's address to the crowd at the ASCE meeting where the new scholarship in his honor was announced. Dr. Graham started his speech by saying it was on this same date, April 19, but 43 years earlier that he went out on patrol in Vietnam in a squad of 10 men.