GRANTS AND GIFTS:
Paul J. Szuch, LIT President, receives a $100,000 donation from Valero Port Arthur Refinery for scholarships. Pictured are, from left: Szuch, U. S. Sen. John Cornyn, Valero Vice President and General Manager Greg Gentry and Barbara Phillips, public affairs manager for Valero.
- The Valero Port Arthur Refinery presented $100,000 to Lamar Institute of Technology (Texas) on March 18. Greg Gentry, vice president and general manager for Valero Port Arthur Refinery, presented the check to Paul J. Szuch, LIT president. The donation will provide for scholarships for students in welding technology, process operating technology, instrumentation technology, industrial mechanics, computer drafting technology and occupational safety and health technology. The Valero Port Arthur Refinery was commissioned in 1901, and has had many process additions and improvements in its history. In 2001, nearly $850 million was invested in a delayed coker unit and hydrocracker to enable the plant to run heavy, sour crude. Other investments include the recent expansion of the coker to 95,000 barrels per day from 85,000 BPD, and the most recent expansion of the crude and vacuum units have increased the refinery’s ability to process lower-cost crude oil.
- Inspired to help support scientific research and resources for students in the Science Technologies, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Academy, Amy Wong has awarded a $250,000 gift to the Queensborough Community College (N.Y.) Fund, Inc. in memory of her late husband, Pak (Peter) Wong, who died in January age 79. Peter Wong was a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the college for more than 30 years, three as chair. Although Amy and her late husband Pak both studied at several other institutions of higher learning, they frequently spoke of the special place that Queensborough held in their hearts as a community college because of its strong commitment to diversity, mentorship and quality education. Indeed, Pak was deeply grateful to America for allowing him to achieve exceptional scholarly success, and he expressed his gratitude in a uniquely American way by dedicating himself to making a difference not only in teaching and research opportunities for his students, but also making a difference in the communities where he lived and worked. A significant percentage of outstanding students at Queensborough are first-generation college students who persevere to obtain a quality education, no matter what obstacles they might face. They represent some 80 nationalities from more than 100 countries around the world. Wong was born in the city of Zhongshan, China. As a youth, he was not particularly interested in school; however, he was a voracious reader and taught himself English by pouring through issues of Reader’s Digest. He went on to Kings High School in Hong Kong where he discovered his passion for chemistry. He was determined to travel overseas to continue his studies in the sciences.