B.J. Pendry

Contributions Provide Student Recognition--And Nutrition

 B.J. Pendry
Unlike some scholarship funds that require recipients to have very specific qualifications, the Charles J. Stevens Fund says simply that the money must go to a rising junior or senior who is studying political science. As a matter of practice, of course, the department gives the award to its most outstanding students. 

One of them, B.J. Pendry, received that award in 2005. Pendry, a senior from Wilkesboro who also has won the department’s highest non-monetary honor for academic excellence, said he used the $1,000 Stevens Scholarship to help cover the cost of meals for a year.  Equally important to him is the satisfaction of receiving recognition - a pat on the back for working so hard. “One of the great things about Western is that faculty pay attention to their students. The scholarship is a great way to say ‘good job.’ I really appreciate that,” he said.

The head of the political science department, Niall Michelsen, who has nominated many students for awards through the years, said faculty appreciate the opportunity to acknowledge their best students every year. “It is a true pleasure to bestow these scholarships because it signifies how the department values academic achievement,” Michelsen said. As an added benefit, he said, they also honor the memory of two former department chairs, now deceased, whose family and friends gave enough money to establish endowments for the annual scholarship awards.

Pendry, who is very active in Greek life and leadership, is nearing graduation and considering his career options.  He hasn’t yet decided whether to earn a doctorate and teach or become professionally involved in student life at the university level. One thing is certain, however. He believes that his experiences at Western, and the confidence he has gained through recognition of his many achievements, have created extraordinary opportunities for a successful future.

Contributing to The Campaign for Western will make it possible to pat other outstanding students on the back.  They deserve it.


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