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News Releases @ TCC


Fund established in memory of engineering student from Virginia Beach
First recipients announced

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – (Aug. 3, 2005) – Tidewater Community College’s Engineering Club and the family of Michael J. French Jr. have established a scholarship fund for engineering students.

The first recipients of the Michael J. French, Jr. Memorial Engineering Scholarships are Donald Elliott, Alicia Ann Saringer and Christa Parren - all of Virginia Beach, and Douglas Mejias from Newport News.

Each student will receive $500 toward expenses for their TCC education.

The Michael J. French, Jr. Memorial Engineering Scholarship Fund was established to provide financial assistance to excellent TCC students pursuing careers in engineering. The fund is in memory of TCC student Michael French who passed away Aug. 29, 2004, after a two-year battle with leukemia. TCC’s Engineering Club and Mike’s parents, Michael French Sr. and Norma French of Virginia Beach, came together to honor him through a scholarship for fellow engineering students.

Mike French, a very active engineering student at TCC who struggled to overcome his illness while completing engineering courses, served as an inspiration of hope and leadership for all who knew him. He served as the TCC Engineering Club president during the 2001-2002 academic year and eagerly led the club in competitions, community service and fundraising events. He was part of a team of nine TCC engineering students to travel to Montreal where their autonomous vehicle captured third place in the 2002 ASEE Model Design Competition. Mike also provided leadership for a team of 25 TCC engineering students that built a huge structure out of over 9,000 cans of food as part of the nationwide CANstruction competition. The structure was a memorial to the victims of the 9-11 tragedy and the food was later donated to the local food bank. Mike French’s commitment to the engineering program at TCC serves as an excellent example for future TCC engineering students.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 36,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit