01-1022-01.htmlTEXTGoMk,=;;mBIN Two URI alums establish engineering scholarships
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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Two URI alums establish engineering scholarships

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 22, 2001 -- Two business leaders in northern Rhode Island, both graduates of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering, have established scholarships at the University to make sure that future students have the same chances for success that they did.

William R. Bisson of Lincoln, the retired president of Blackstone Valley Electric Co. and a 1949 graduate of URI, and North Smithfield resident Gary S. Ezovski, president of Lincoln Environmental Inc. in Smithfield and a 1972 URI graduate, endowed scholarships this fall.
"As a URI undergrad, I benefited from a scholarship without which I would never have made it through," said Ezovski. "I funded my education myself, and I know how important it is to get any measure of assistance you can."

Ezovski’s company cleans up contaminated soil and groundwater and is currently busy dealing with the contaminants recently found in the Pascoag water system. He said the company has hired a number of URI graduates from the geology and engineering programs, and "the impact of their education has been very good for the community."

As for his own education in civil engineering, Ezovski is equally enthusiastic. "URI helped me to better understand my potential and what I could do," he said. "The University empowered me to believe that I could help people solve problems with the engineering skills I learned there."

Bisson recalls a bit of confusion during the early part of his URI education. "It was right after World War II and there were so many G.I.s taking advantage of the G.I. bill that we had to live in Quonset huts behind Rodman Hall for the first two years," he said. "But we were all thankful we were there. Without the war and the G.I. bill, most of us probably couldn’t have afforded to go to college."

Bisson went to work for Blackstone Valley Gas and Electric – which later became Blackstone Valley Electric – immediately after graduating with a degree in electrical engineering. He worked his way from the engineering department to the president’s office during his 40-year career.

"I derived a lot of success going to URI, and I enjoyed my time there. I want to make sure that everybody who wants to has an opportunity to go." Bisson said he established the scholarship "to help students who would fall through the cracks if the scholarship money wasn’t available."

Thanks to the generosity of both Bisson and Ezovski that is now less likely to happen.
For Information: Todd McLeish 874-7892

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