URI student is as happy as a Wal-Mart smiley face after being awarded $20,000 scholarship

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 19, 1999 — Don’t be surprised these days if you see University of Rhode Island engineering student William Remington III looking like one of those Wal-Mart smiley faces. Remington, of North Smithfield, has good reason to be happy. He is the only Rhode Island recipient this year of a $20,000, four-year Wal-Mart Competitive Edge Scholarship. He was presented with a plaque honoring his achievement from Susan Desack, manager of the Woonsocket Wal-Mart, earlier this month. Remington will receive $5,000 in each of his four years at URI, providing he maintains a 3.0 grade point average. His grades at North Smithfield High School and standardized test scores earned him a URI Centennial Scholarship as well. A member of the math team and French club in high school, Remington is a freshman in the URI computer engineering program and the URI International Engineering Program, in which he will learn German and spend a year at Technische Universitat Braunschweig in Germany. In January, he will visit Germany for two weeks to tour the university, German manufacturing operations and historical and cultural sites. “This scholarship is going to cover a major part of my cost of going to URI,” Remington said. Wal-Mart’s Desack said she enjoys such ceremonies. “This is my favorite part of being a Wal-Mart manager, being in the community.” The Wal-Mart Competitive Edge Scholarship Fund awards graduating high school seniors scholarships who plan to focus their college studies on manufacturing, industry and technology. Wal-Mart’s founder, Sam Walton, initiated the program in 1992 to encourage America’s best and brightest students to carry on America’s leadership in these important areas. “We seek students who are going to move the country forward,” Desack said. In the program’s first year, Wal-Mart awarded 82 scholarships at 72 universities. This school year, Wal-Mart will award 257 scholarships nationwide totaling $5 million. More than 140 different schools, representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico, help Wal-Mart pick the scholarship winners. “On behalf of the University, we want to thank you (Sue) for Wal-Mart’s generosity,” said Paul Witham, URI associate vice president for development. “You are supporting a person in our International Engineering Program, a program that is respected around the world.” Thomas Kim, dean of URI’s College of Engineering, said Remington could have gone to any school in the country. “He got the scholarship before he enrolled here, so it speaks volumes about our computer engineering and International Engineering programs. These are the kind of students we are attracting as our computer engineering program sees a 20 percent enrollment jump each year.” Wal-Mart is the world’s number one retailer. In 1995, the company created 85,000 new Wal-Mart jobs and supported thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs. More than 600,000 Americans work at Wal-Mart. -xxx- For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116