A Family Affair - Inspire Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

A Family Affair

A Family AffairIt was her father's dream - to have Judy Hallinen and her two siblings attend Carnegie Mellon. Amazingly, he saw all three graduate from the university, beginning a family tradition.

Hallinen (HS'83) met her future husband, Ken (TPR'82, HS'85) as an undergrad. Twenty-five years later and Carnegie Mellon is still home - as both are longtime employees of the university.

Looking for other ways to support Carnegie Mellon students, the Hallinens established a scholarship in 2008.

By pledging $2,500 a year to help an undergraduate in financial need, the Hallinens began an Andrew Carnegie Legacy Scholarship. Many of these scholarships endure year after year, beyond the initial $10,000 commitment - going on to support future students in need.

"It's so hard to excel at what you're doing academically when you're not sure you can afford to be here next year," explained Judy. "An ACL Scholarship guarantees the gift for all four years, and provides, we hope, a better comfort level."

Judy and Ken stay close to the Carnegie Mellon community. Judy is the university's assistant vice provost for educational outreach and director of the Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach, and Ken is director of resource planning and management in the university's Computing Services Department.

Both also volunteer and Ken also stays in touch with the students as assistant track coach.

"The individual relationships are the reason that we're here," said Judy. "That's what Carnegie Mellon is - it's the people."

It was with pride that they sat together again in Gesling stadium this past May to see their older daughter, Nicole (HS '09), accept her own diploma.

As Judy taught her daughter, "With ability comes responsibility to society. If I can do something, I have no business not doing it."

So the tradition of giving continues. Within days of graduation, Nicole wrote her first check in support of Carnegie Mellon - $20.09 honoring the class of 2009.

Related Link: ACS Legacy Scholarship