Helping Students Reach Their Full Potential

July 29, 2022 by Sara Falligant

Undergraduate scholarships build legacies and lifelong relationships

Over the four decades since Charles and Dorothy Einolf endowed the Otto and Hilda Einolf Scholarship Fund in the Whiting School of Engineering, they received — and kept — dozens of letters from scholarship recipients. Some have become like family, sending holiday cards of their own children and serving on alumni boards alongside the Einolfs through the years. When Dorothy turned 100, Whiting students celebrated her milestone birthday with a video message.

A group of Johns Hopkins undergraduate scholarship students stands with their scholarship donors
Lu Menghini (far left), Dorothy Einolf (in pink), and Dave Einolf, A&S ’81, (far right) enjoy the Homewood Schools Scholarship Luncheon with students.

“My mother kept all those letters because of the whole concept of supporting undergraduate education,” explains Dave Einolf, A&S ’81. “If you’re interested in philanthropy, you can give an undergraduate scholarship, you can give some sort of postgraduate money, or you can support a professorship. The undergraduate scholarship is the only one of those that has a direct impact on somebody whose future isn’t molded.”

The Einolfs never missed a scholarship luncheon or the chance to meet with one of their scholars. Dorothy keeps all of their letters in a box. Dave is growing his own collection of correspondences — the relationships his parents built with the students they supported inspired him and his wife, Lu Menghini, to endow an undergraduate scholarship in their name in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Dave says his father, who was the first member of his family to attend college, would cite his time at Hopkins as the key moment in his career. After his discharge from the Army in 1946, he worked full-time at IBM while attending night classes in engineering at Hopkins on the GI Bill, graduating in 1956. Charles stayed with IBM until his retirement in 1984.

Undergraduate scholarships support current and future Hopkins students as they work to achieve their personal and professional aspirations. For Dave, there’s no greater reward than connecting with students and seeing them succeed as the result of his gift.

“Every named scholarship recipient is a person who has a set of goals and a career trajectory,” he says. “Each named scholarship represents a person, a personality, a mission, an idea, a desire. Understanding how those mesh with the student’s goals and desires is very important, and it’s fun. They’re grateful, and I think they’re grateful for the human touch. There’s a lot more to being a scholarship donor than simply the aspect of philanthropy.”

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Topics: Students, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering, Support Scholars, Undergraduate Student Experience