"I've been lucky my whole life, and it began at Northeastern." —Stanley Kovell, E'55
At the age of 22, Stanley Kovell, E'55, landed an impressive first management job: overseeing more than 100 military and civilian personnel at Sandia Special Weapons Depot, the U.S. Department of Defense's nuclear weapons installation in New Mexico. Kovell credits his success to his own fortitude—and to a scholarship from Northeastern, where he studied chemical engineering during the Korean War.
"I was the first person in my family to go to college," says Kovell. "My scholarship made it possible for me to afford my education, get experience, and study my interests."
At Northeastern, Kovell made the most of his co-ops and the university's Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, which prepared him for opportunities that followed. His first post-graduation job at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft required a top secret security clearance, an advantage when he was later drafted by the Army and assigned to Sandia Special Weapons Depot. There, a seasoned Air Force major mentored him and helped him quickly hone his leadership and decision-making skills.
"I learned not to ask for something, but instead say what's needed," he explains. "That was a big life lesson." Kovell carried those experiences with him throughout his career in the aerospace industry.
Grateful for Northeastern's support of his academic pursuits, Kovell wants to do the same for today's students. Through a gift in his estate plan that will set up an endowed scholarship, he hopes to give chemical engineering students the chance to study free of financial burdens and stress.
"When you give a deserving student a chance, they will accomplish great things." Kovell says.