Published: Dec. 21, 2021 By

Will Brown and Connie Faye Brown
Will Brown and his mother Connie Brown.

College of Engineering and Applied Science students who want to contribute to the energy industry have a new scholarship opportunity inspired by a woman whose dedication to her family and career helped shape one of the college’s own alumni.

Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering alumnus Will Brown (MechEngr’92) has established the Connie Faye Brown scholarship in honor of his mother. The scholarship is a gift to benefit mechanical, chemical or electrical engineering students, since it was Connie who inspired Brown to pursue that same education.

“My mom pushed me in that direction because she worked for Phillips Petroleum Company for 40 years in human resources,” Brown said. “She worked with engineers every day and thought it would be a good career for me. She was a stabilizing force, the breadwinner in our family and a solid influence on me.”

Brown, a first-generation engineer, graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1992. He then began working in the oil and gas industry, just as his mother did.

He later went on to earn an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and is now the vice president of business management for the Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipelines West Region.

Although Connie has since passed, Brown said her example of hard work, strong values and sound decision-making while supporting her family is what propelled him to where he is today. He hopes his gift to the college will motivate engineering students to live and work with those same values.

“I think she would have been speechless,” Brown said when asked how his mother would react to the scholarship. “I think she would have really enjoyed listening to and reading any correspondence from the scholarship recipients. That would have been a neat part of her life.”  

Students can apply for the Connie Faye Scholarship through the CU Boulder scholarship application process. A scholarship committee will evaluate applications and select the recipients, with priority given to first-generation engineering students.

“I want to help provide opportunities for other CU Boulder Engineering students,” Brown said. “My education from CU Boulder has helped me build my 30-year career and opened a lot of doors.”

Looking back at his impactful education and successful career, Brown agreed that it’s a good thing he took his mother’s advice – to become an engineer.