Alumnus gives back through 'Dream Big' scholarship
Kenneth Bible, 1985 graduate of mechanical engineering, vividly remembers his college graduation day. On a bright June morning, Bible parked at Randolph Hall and set off toward Lane Stadium to celebrate the pinnacle of his Virginia Tech experience.
“I started to walk across the Drillfield and ended up meeting a classmate about halfway across,” said Bible. “We were both wearing our academic regalia, and it was just a beautiful walk across the whole campus while talking about all the exciting adventures ahead.”
Years later, through the Kenneth W. and Katherine T. Bible “Dream Big” Scholarship, Bible is helping other Hokies realize their dreams of becoming a Virginia Tech graduate. The scholarship was established in 2015 to honor the spirit of service of Bible family members and to challenge its recipients to a lifelong leadership journey. The name alludes to a letter Bible received from his father a few years after earning his degree.
“In my dad’s letter, he related that when he and my mom had my older brother, he felt he had a new ‘occupation’ raising a family that tempered his dreams,” said Bible. “He encouraged me to ‘dream big,’ writing these words bigger and bolder, in all caps with an exclamation point. That always stuck with me.”
Undergraduate students in the College of Engineering who serve as student leaders in a Student Affairs program are eligible for the scholarship award, and preference is given to students with demonstrated financial need. The 2018 recipient is sophomore Sophia Schenk, a civil engineering major from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Past recipients include senior computer engineering major Connor O’Brien of Alliance, Ohio, and Stella Thai ’17.
“Ideally, I hope the assistance of the Dream Big Scholarship gives the recipients a chance to not only study engineering, but branch out into other aspects of student life at Virginia Tech,” said Bible. “This is why it made sense to house the scholarship with Student Affairs, because of the wide range of opportunities provided through their programs.”
Bible — who attributes his broad worldview and critical thinking skills to his Virginia Tech experience — encourages Hokies to focus on learning how to learn.
“This might sound a little odd, but I’m sincere in saying it,” said Bible. “Do something divergent. Curiosity is best fed when the topics have nothing to do with what you think you want to do for a living. In 20 years, some of the knowledge you acquire in class today will be superseded by new theories or new technologies, but what is enduring is your ability to integrate new information.”
Bible divides his time between Alexandria, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina, where he resides. He serves as the Deputy Director of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Department at Headquarters Marine Corps, as well as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Marine Corps. He serves Virginia Tech as a member of the Student Affairs Alumni Advisory Board.
For more insight into Bible’s story and scholarship, read the complete Q&A.
Photo by Christina Franusich
Written by Tiffany Woodall