Wolter Fabrycky, who remembers his late daughter Kathryn as an advocate for those she saw as less fortunate as well as a lover of nature, recently endowed a scholarship in the college in her memory. Kathryn Fabrycky worked as an administrative aide for the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation for 20 years before her death in 2004.

“Kathryn was inspired by the beauty of nature, by sunrises, redbuds, and wildlife,” said the elder Fabrycky. “When my wife and I bought a 95-acre farm near Prices Fork in 2000, Kathryn begged us to place it under a conservation easement so it would never become a subdivision.”

As a child, Kathryn loved spending time with her horses. “When she was living on the farm, she seemed to attract birds and other wildlife,” her father said. “She told us that when she was most troubled, some little animal or bird would come into her presence, sometimes even seeming to speak to her.”

During her career in the college, Kathryn provided valuable support to the department and its students on many wildlife research projects, including several studies on black bears. She is remembered with fondness by her co-workers. “Whenever I think of her, I smile,” said Peggy Quarterman, retired administrative assistant to the dean. “Kathryn was a dear person.”

Wolter Fabrycky admired his daughter’s people skills. “Nothing was more important to her than people, particularly underprivileged people,” he said. “As secretary to the director of Dietrick Dining Hall, she became an advocate for the folks who came in from outlying areas to work for very little. Although she was pleased to shift to the academic side for her next job, I don’t think she would have made that change for just any field. Fisheries and wildlife seemed like the right place for her, given her passions.”

The scholarship in Kathyrn’s memory is open to rising juniors and seniors in the college with special consideration given to those in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation who have financial need. Wolter Fabrycky’s $50,000 gift will support the $2,000 scholarship each year in perpetuity.

“Dr. Frabrycky’s gift will support students in need and help us train the next generation of conservation leaders,” said Department Head Joel Snodgrass. “The gift will also help us share our department’s rich history of dedicated employees with our current students.”

Wolter Fabrycky is the John Lawrence Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering and principal of Academic Applications International. He served as founding chairman of the Virginia Tech systems engineering graduate program, associate dean of engineering, and then as dean of research for the university.