Top science, engineering students come to UW, thanks to ARCS group

Since 1978, a group of women in Seattle has been raising money to support graduate students in science and engineering at the UW. In the last 17 years, the Seattle Chapter of the ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) has raised more than $1.5 million to support 234 UW graduate students.

During 1995 they provided almost $300,000 to help recruit top students. “We want to help meet our country’s need for scientists and engineers,” says Vicki Griffin, president of the Seattle ARCS chapter.

“By raising money from individuals, corporations, and foundations, we can reward and encourage these talented young people. We help the University compete for the best students, which strengthens the UW’s research programs. And many of the students remain in the Seattle area, which adds highly educated workers to the community. It’s a winning situation, all around,” she explains.

From fisheries to physics, from civil engineering to environmental health, 21 new graduate students came to the UW with ARCS Fellowships in 1995. The ARCS money gives the University a competitive edge over other institutions, says Luke Campbell, who is entering the Ph.D. program in physics. “The UW seemed to care more whether I came here,” says Campbell. “If two people are recruiting you, and one gives you an extra $5,000 a year, that’s where you go.”

In addition to 21 first-year students, the Seattle ARCS chapter currently is supporting 16 second-year and 17 third-year graduate students.