New Scholarship Honors an Alum’s Legacy

Donald J. Murphy

After Donald J. Murphy earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering at what was then called the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, he went on to a rewarding career that took him from his native New York City to the Middle East, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, among other locales.

Along the way, he won countless friends and professional supporters, some so admiring and steadfast that more than two decades after his 1993 death, they still remembered him with fondness.

In early 2015 Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, a company he had joined as vice president and partner in 1985, established the annual Donald J. Murphy Memorial Scholarship, for students at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering who are focused on geotechnical and/or environmental engineering.

The inaugural $5,000 scholarship, administered by philanthropic arm of the Deep Foundations Institute, an industry group, was given to Leonardo Yoshiaki Abe, a master’s degree student in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering (CUE). (Abe will also receive a free membership in the Institute as part of the award.)

Abe—who recently completed a competitive internship at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and who aspires to work on environmental issues after earning his master’s degree this year—says, “Receiving the scholarship is a confirmation that I am on the right track to achieving my career goals, and I am extremely honored to be selected. I definitely owe a great deal to Professor Joon Om, my thesis supervisor, who encouraged me to apply for the award.”

Magued Iskander, the chair of the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, asserts that Abe is a fitting recipient for the new scholarship. “What I find remarkable is that the scholarship was established by the partners of a man who passed away more than two decades ago,” he says. “That gives an indication of the stellar nature of Murphy’s career and will, I’m sure, serve as an inspiration to Leonardo and other civil and urban engineering students as they reach for similar heights as NYU Tandon-educated engineers.”