SYLVA COMPUTER SOFTWARE DESIGNER                                                                                               

Western student James Ruff of Waynesville (second from right) accepts congratulations from John Proffitt (second from left) as the first recipient of a recently established scholarship funded through the Proffitt's Pecuniary Propitiousness Protocol. Also taking part in the presentation are Kathy Ivey, head of the department of mathematics and computer science, and Robert Vartabedian, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

CULLOWHEE – A recent gift from John Proffitt, a computer software designer from Sylva, will help students interested in careers in computer science earn their degrees at Western Carolina University.

Proffitt, who graduated magna cum laude (with high honors) from Western in 1994 with a degree in computer science, recently provided the initial $10,000 contribution establishing the scholarship fund, called Proffitt's Pecuniary Propitiousness Protocol.

“Mr. Proffitt felt it was important that qualified students receive not only recognition but financial support, and not only from the university but also from alumni of the university and alumni of the computer science program,” said Brett Woods, director of annual and special gifts at Western. “He also felt it important that the name of the fund reflect a lighter side of the academic equation, hence the unique and highly original name of Proffitt's Pecuniary Propitiousness Protocol.”

Proffitt's parents – Brank and Juanita Proffitt of Marshall – both graduated from Western, he in 1942 and she in 1939. Mrs. Proffitt is a member of Western's Alumni Board, and both are active contributors to the university. They previously established the Brank and Juanita Farmer Proffitt Scholarship Fund to assist students from Madison County.

The first recipient of a scholarship from the new Proffitt's Pecuniary Propitiousness Protocol fund is James Ruff of Waynesville, recently awarded $450 for the 2005-06 academic year. A senior majoring in applied mathematics and computer science, Ruff is a 2001 graduate of Tuscola High School. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ruff of Waynesville.

For more information on Proffitt's Pecuniary Propitiousness Protocol or other scholarship opportunities at Western, contact Brett Woods at (828) 227-7124, or via e-mail at .

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Last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2005
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