William Benn Student Success Fund
The William Benn Student Success Fund was named in 2023 in honor of William "Bill" Benn.
He traveled from Lakewood, New Jersey to Montgomery, West Virginia in the 1960s to
study civil engineering at West Virginia Institute of Technology (now West Virginia
University Institute of Technology). Benn was part of a tight-knit, blue-collar family
with five siblings.
While he was a student, Benn joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also worked
part-time at the West Virginia Department of Transportation. He was only a few
semesters short of graduating when he ran out of money for school and decided to
work full-time to save up and finish his degree.
It was during this time Benn was drafted for the ongoing war in Vietnam.
Private First-Class Benn served in the Marine Corps beginning in September 1968.
His unit was dispatched to the Quang Tri province of Vietnam. On the night of June
5 his unit was attacked by North Vietnamese mortars. The assault lasted through
the night and into the morning.
William Benn was among those killed in the attack on June 6, 1969.
The FundThough William did not have the opportunity to finish his degree, his namesake fund is helping Golden Bears complete their educations using money graciously donated by supported to help pay for things students need that regular scholarship money might not provide. Donations within the fund are provided by those who recognize the need to help the next generation achieve the future that higher education provides.
Source: West Virginia & Regional History Center