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The EAA Endowed Scholarship

Since 2013, The Engineering Alumni Association (EAA), through contributions from its members, has awarded two $1000 scholarships to engineering students annually. From the beginning, the EAA’s goal was to endow the scholarship so it would become a permanent source of funding. That occurred this year, thanks to the ongoing generosity of many EAA members. Continuing to grow the EAA scholarship endowment remains a priority. Providing scholarships for engineering students is very important to the College of Engineering because it ensures our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest students.

For more information about the EAA Endowed Scholarship, and how you can get involved with the Engineering Alumni Association, please contact Josh Grant, Alumni Relations and Development Director, at or (801) 585-7173.

An endowed scholarship is set up with financial gifts used for the perpetual benefit of the scholarship. The endowment is designed to keep the principal amount intact while using the investment income for the stated purpose. EAA endowment gifts are invested, not spent, so an annual distribution can support scholarships. Investment earnings above the dividend rate help the endowment value grow over time, to keep pace with inflation and maintain an endowment’s spending power.

Gifts of cash, stock or directed funds can fund an endowment. Deferred gifts, beneficiary gifts, life insurance policies or other planned estate gifts can secure the endowment in the future. Your gift to the EAA Endowed scholarship will transform your giving into a lasting legacy.

EAA Scholarship Recipients

Bailey Van Wagoner

Discipline: Biomedical Engineering
Anticipated graduation year: 2023

Where are you from?
I was born in California and lived there until I was 2 years old. Then, my family moved to Italy for a year. Finally, we came to West Jordan, Utah, to be closer to family. I have lived here ever since.

Why did you choose to attend the University of Utah?
University of Utah has always been my dream school. Ever since I can remember, I planned on attending here because my family went here. Mom attended here when she and my dad were just starting our family, then she came back to the U years later and earned a doctorate degree in pharmacy. Dad earned a bachelor’s in metallurgical engineering. The oldest sister graduated from the S.J. Quinney College of Law. The middle sister just graduated from the business college. And, now I am studying biomedical engineering here.

Why did you choose to go into your specific discipline?
I always found myself caught between medicine and engineering. My parents instilled in me a love of science and a passionate curiosity of the world around me. I was in elementary school when my mom was working towards her pharmacy degree, so I would tag along with her to classes when I was on breaks. I’d find myself listening to the lectures and asking my mom questions about them; I was fascinated. At the same time, my dad would encourage my innovative spirit by helping me with engineering projects and telling me about the cool stuff he did at work as an engineer. I suppose I couldn’t bring myself to decide between medicine and engineering, so now I am studying both in biomedical engineering.

What are your plans after graduation?
I haven’t figured out all the details yet, but I have some ideas. I am a staunch supporter of women’s rights and healthcare, and I am always searching for ways to be an advocate for women. After graduation, I will have a solid foundation in science, mathematics, and engineering as a resource to aid in my mission of educating and empowering women to take charge of their health. The current plan is to become a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health.

What does the EAA Scholarship mean to you? 
I am honored to receive this scholarship from the Engineering Alumni Association. Not only is it gratifying to be recognized for academic achievement, but it is also a reminder of why I am here in the first place. I am following in the footsteps of my dad who is an alumnus of the College of Engineering here at the University of Utah. He encouraged me to follow my interests and passions in STEM fields all my life, and that has led me to study biomedical engineering in the same buildings and on the same campus that my dad walked all those years ago. It makes me incredibly happy to carry on his legacy as an engineering student and future alumna of the College of Engineering.

As a student representative on the Engineering Alumni Board, what are you most looking forward to this year? 
I am so excited to bring my perspective as a student, a young woman, and a daughter of a College of Engineering alumnus to the Board of Directors this year. I am ready to work with the board to increase the reach and impact of the EAA by getting more involved with current engineering students. My hope is that the EAA will evolve to create a community connecting students and alumni.